Greenland has been inhabited off and on for at least the last 4,500 to 5,000 years by Arctic peoples whose forebears migrated there from Canada. Norsemen settled on the uninhabited southern part of Greenland beginning in the 10th century. Inuit peoples arrived in the 13th century. The Norse colonies disappeared in the late 15th century. In the early 18th century, Scandinavia and Greenland came back into contact with each other, and Denmark established sovereignty over the island.
The flag of Greenland features two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a large disk slightly to the hoist side of centre. The top half of the disk is red, the bottom half is white. The entire flag measures 18 by 12 parts; each stripe measures 6 parts; the disk is 8 parts in diameter, horizontally offset by 7 parts from the hoist to the centre of the circle, and vertically centered. The colours of the flag are the same as those of the Flag of Denmark (Dannebrog), symbolising Greenland's place in the Danish Realm.
Its local name in the Greenlandic language is Erfalasorput, which means "our flag". The term Aappalaartoq (meaning "the red") is also used for both the Greenlandic flag and the flag of Denmark. Today, Greenlanders display both the Erfalasorput and the Dannebrog—often side-by-side. It is also the only national flag of a Nordic country or territory without a Nordic Cross.