Besides the breathtaking blue sea, one of the most recognizable symbols of Greece around the world is definitely their beautiful flag. Keep reading and you can discover how the two are connected as well as some interesting facts about the Greek flag.
What better colors to represent a country full of crystal waters, beautiful white beaches, and free skies than blue and white. Maybe you didn’t know but the blue in the flag is not standardized and it varies from dark blue to light blue.
Greek flag has nine alternating blue and white stripes and a white cross on blue background in the top left corner. It is widely believed that the blue represents the Greek sky and sea and the white is for the clouds and waves. The cross is there to represent the religion of the majority of Greeks-orthodox Christianity.
Some researchers claim that the number of blue and white lines (9) comes from the number of ancient Greek muses (). But others say that it is connected with words that have been Greek motto since Ottoman times-‘Freedom or death’ (‘Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος’). The words have served as a call to fight the Ottomans, to fight for freedom, and to get back what had been taken away for hundreds of years. The words contain exactly nine syllables – just as the number of lines on the flag.
Another popular opinion about the number of lines is that it is because of the number of letters in the word Ελευθερία (=freedom). There is no better word to represent Greek spirit!
For the proud Greek people, their flag means so much – it is a symbol of victory and perseverance, a symbol of pride and survival, a reminder of where they are now and how far they have come since the revolution against the Ottoman Empire.
History of Flag of Greece
Greece has been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for about four hundred years and, as one can imagine, they were so difficult in every possible way. During this occupation, Greece has lost a lot of its territory, a lot of people, perhaps degraded in various ways but it has never lost its dignity and pride.
During the final war of independence, the National Assembly adopted the official Greek flag in 1823, but the king of Greece, Otto, put in the Bavarian royal coat of arms (because he was German (and a minor!)), so you can see how and why the flag changed slightly during the years, up until 1978.
Now, don’t be surprised when we tell you that this version of the flag was adopted very recently-in 1978(!). Of course, a long, long time before then, Greek flag looked very similar, with some additional details on it.