National flag of Sweden
National flags suitable for both outdoor and indoor use.
Made of special polyester material with increased UV and weather resistance.
Intense and vivid colors, with excellent front/rear visibility.
- 100% polyester, weight 110 gr/m2
- The material is treated as fire-resistant class B
The material is printed using the latest generation technologies with water-based ecological ink.
The edges are finished with a double perimeter hem, and in the attachment part there may be:
- pylon/handle pocket
- reinforced tape and plastic carabiners, for attaching to the mast
- Fasteners: metal grommets/eyelets
The national flag of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges flagga) consists of a yellow or gold Nordic cross (i.e. a horizontal cross extending to the edges, with the crossbar closer to the hoist than the fly) on a field of light blue. The Nordic cross design traditionally represents Christianity. The design and colours of the Swedish flag are believed to have been inspired by the present coat of arms of Sweden of 1442, which is blue divided quarterly by a cross pattée of gold, and modelled on the Danish flag. Blue and yellow have been used as Swedish colours at least since Magnus III's royal coat of arms of 1275.
Ratio and colour scheme
State flag and civil ensign
The dimensions of the Swedish flag are 5:2:9 horizontally and 4:2:4 vertically. The dimensions of the Swedish flag with a triple-tail are 5:2:5:8 horizontally and 4:2:4 vertically. The colours of the flag are officially established through the Natural Color System to be NCS 0580-Y10R for the shade of yellow, and NCS 4055-R95B for the shade of blue. They are also specified to Pantone PMS 301 C/U for blue and PMS 116 or PMS 109 U for yellow. The square-cut Swedish state flag is identical to the civil ensign. The Swedish law does not regulate the design of the Swedish pennant, but it is recommended that its colour scheme should correspond with that of the flag.
The triple-tailed flag (tretungad flagga) is used as a naval ensign (örlogsflaggan). Its overall ratio, including the tails, is 1:2. The flag is also used as the Swedish naval jack (örlogsgösen). The jacks are smaller than the ensigns, but they have the same proportions. The Swedish swallowtail flag was originally the King's personal emblem, or the emblem representing a command conferred by the King. It was at first two-pointed, but by the mid-17th century, the distinctive swallowtail with tongue appeared. The flag is also flown by the defence ministry, while civil ministries fly square flags.
The Swedish royal flag (Kungliga flaggan) is identical to the triple-tailed naval ensign, but has in its centre a white field with the greater or the lesser coat of arms surrounded by the Order of the Seraphim, which has the king as its grand master. The king personally decides about the specific use of the royal flag.
According to early modern legend, the 12th-century King Eric IX saw a golden cross in the sky as he landed in Finland during the First Swedish Crusade in 1157. Seeing this as a sign from God he adopted the golden cross against a blue background as his banner.
It has been suggested that the Swedish origin legend is chosen to counter a parallel origin story for the Danish flag, also recorded in the 16th century. According to this theory, the Swedish flag was created during the reign of King Charles VIII, who also introduced the coat of arms of Sweden in 1442. The national coat of arms is a combination of King Albert's coat of arms of 1364 and King Magnus III's coat of arms of 1275, and is blue divided quarterly by a golden cross pattée.
Other historians claim that the Swedish flag was blue with a white cross before 1420, and became blue with a golden cross only during the early reign King Gustav I, who deposed King Christian II in 1521.
The exact age of the Swedish flag is not known, but the oldest recorded pictures of a blue cloth with a yellow cross date from the early 16th century, during the reign of King Gustav I. The first legal description of the flag was made in a royal warrant of 19 April 1562 as "yellow in a cross fashioned on blue". As stipulated in a royal warrant of 1569, the yellow cross was always to be borne on Swedish battle standards and banners. Prior to this, a similar flag appeared in the coat of arms of King John III's duchy, which is today Southwest Finland. The same coat of arms is still used by the province.
A royal warrant of 6 November 1663, regulated the use of the triple-tailed flag, to be used only as a state flag and naval ensign. According to the same royal warrant, merchant ships were only allowed to fly square-cut city flags in their respective provincial colours. In practice, however, the merchant fleet began using a square-cut civil ensign of the state flag. In a government instruction of ship building of 1730, this civil ensign should have the same proportions and colors as the state flag, with the notable difference of being square-cut. In 1756, the use of pennants by private ships was prohibited.
A royal warrant of 18 August 1761, stipulated that an all blue triple-tailed flag to be used by the archipelago fleet, a branch of the army tasked with defending the archipelago along the Swedish coastlines. The commander of the fleet also had the right to order the use of the ordinary war ensign instead of the blue ensign when that was "appropriate". The blue flag was used until 1813.
Union between Sweden and Norway
Union flags of 1815 and 1818
On 6 June 1815, a common military ensign was introduced for the two united kingdoms of Sweden and Norway. This flag was identical to the former triple-tailed military ensign of Sweden, with a white saltire on red to be included in the canton. Proposed by the Norwegian Prime Minister and unionist Peder Anker, the white saltire on a red background was supposed to symbolise Norway, as the country had previously been united with Denmark and initially continued to use the same flag as an independent country, but with the national arms in the canton.
Norwegian ships continued to use the Danish civil ensign distinguished with the national arms in the canton north of Cape Finisterre, but had to fly the Swedish civil ensign in the Mediterranean to be protected from pirate attacks. A common civil ensign for both countries was introduced in 1818, on the pattern of the naval ensign, but square-cut. This flag was optional for Swedish vessels, but compulsory for Norwegian ones in distant waters. In 1821, Norway adopted a new national civil ensign, identical to the present flag of Norway.
Following the adoption of a separate Norwegian flag, a royal regulation of 17 July 1821, stipulated that ships of both kingdoms use the common square-cut civil ensign (with the saltire included) in "distant waters" (i.e. beyond Cape Finisterre). In "distant waters", they had the right to use any of the square-cut civil ensigns of their respective countries, or the uniform Union civil ensign. This system was in force until 1838.
Union flags of 1844
A royal resolution of 20 June 1844, introduced new flags and heraldry to denote the equal status of the two kingdoms within the union. Both countries were granted civil and military ensigns on the same pattern, their respective national flags with the addition of a union mark in the canton, combining the flag colours of both countries. The naval ensign was based on the traditional triple-tailed Swedish model. In addition, the new union mark was to be used as the naval jack and as the flag for the common diplomatic representations abroad. The warrant also stipulated that the merchant fleet use their respective countries' square-cut civil ensigns, including the new union mark. Also, royal e