Knowing The Danish Flag, or Not- Trip 117

There is a funny expression in Danish using the number 117. It is nicely described without expressing its origins here: “Et overraskende stort antal.”

The explanation is of course in Danish, but for those of you who are learning this age old language in leaps and bounds, then it won’t be any problem whatsoever!

Why start the blog about flags with that number? Well, no reason at all, but I thought that a little cultural diversity was needed at this point in time!

I might just add, “There are 117 reasons for learning about the Danish Flag!” See what I mean now? No? Well, it means that there are many reasons to learn about this piece of cloth.

Let’s look at it more closely:


Source: Google Images (Danish Flag)

Great stuff, huh? That is just the beginning. Here is another set of flags, also from Denmark:


Source: Google Images (Danish Flag)

I just can’t get enough of them, and I’ve even seen some Non-Danes use it as their symbol for their Canadian Blog! Oops, Sorry Cyranny (

I don’t use it, and I even live here!

Let’s start at the beginning:


Let’s pretend, we are Danes and don’t have a flag. Someone in the 16th Century saw it fall down from the skies:

A tradition recorded in the 16th century traces the origin of the flag to the campaigns of Valdemar II of Denmark (r. 1202–1241). The oldest of them is in Christiern Pedersen‘s “Danske Krønike“, which is a sequel to Saxo’s Gesta Danorum, written 1520–23. Here, the flag falls from the sky during a Russian campaign of Valdemar’s.


Ask any Dane, like my wife for example, “Where did the Danish Flag come from?”

Answer: “It fell down from the sky (with sky in Danish = Himmel which means Heaven)

So this is a heavenly flag, eh? We Americans are so uncouth:

  1. No Royalty
  2. No Heavenly Flag
  3. Language spoken by more than 5 million
  4. John Wayne never was a Danish WWII hero in the movies!

You see, those are just some of the non-similarities between USA and Denmark, but that is not the point of this blog.

-I know that some of you are lost once again, especially when someone mentions “point of this blog” and why/how it pertains to me!?

Let’s look at this flag again, using the criteria listed above:


Heaven is at least blue, or black, depending on God’s mood at the time. Then there are the Royal Colors which include red and white, but are not shown due to “Punishment of Americans who use Royal Pictures on the Internet, Act of 1928.”

What? No Internet in 1928! Don’t worry about it, as those kind of laws, have no time limit when you are a foreigner in Denmark!

OK. Let’s summarize: Heaven is Blue, and the Royal Colors are Red and White.


I came up with this one here, and it does seem familiar to me! I’ve used all of the most important colors and…..what? The American Flag?

Wow, and I didn’t think that there were any similarities between the 2 flags! Now I can see that they are closer in appearance, than I had imagined.

If you think like me that this is a really Cool Coincidence, then I would recommend that you sign up for my  new course in Cultural Similarities and Differences, Number 117B:

I Pledge allegiance to the Flag of the ……..