Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
 

Greek Flag

There are four Greek flags depicted on the right hand side of the page which hail from different eras in Greek history over the last 200 years.  From top to bottom they are:

  1. Modern Greek National Flag
  2. Old Greek National Flag
  3. Independence War army flag A
  4. Independence War army flag B
The modern Greek flag (1) was adopted on 22 December 1978 and the flag's style and dimensions are enshrined in Law #851 On the National Flag, War Flags and the Insignia of the President of the Republic.  The flag has been in use since 1822 but originally only on sea and at the coast while the old Greek flag (2) was used on land.  The modern Greek flag consists of 9 alternating blue and white horizontal stripes with the old Greek flag incorporated into the upper left hand corner.

The popular belief about the colour of the flag is that the blue and white represents the colours of the sea and waves that surround the country.  There being 9 horizontal stripes is explained by two popular beliefs relating to the Independence War army flag (4) at the bottom.  These are that 9 relates to the number of letters in the greek word ελεγθερια (freedom) or that 9 syllables are found in the phrase ελεγθερια η θανατος (freedom or death).  The cross is taken to represent Greece's tradition of orthodox christianity.

The Independence War army flag (3) with a blue cross on a white background was a very widely used alternative revolutionary flag.

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