Talk:Flag of Greece

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Why doesn't the image of the old flat show up on this page? When you click on it to enlarge it, the full size picture does exist. --Patik 16:02, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)

Inconsistency with other article[edit]

According to the Sipahi article, the Sipahis were exclusively of Turkic ethnic origin. This is dubious for that time and there's no in-text citation supporting the claim other than a translation of an Ottoman law book (uncited as well). In this article however, it is claimed that Christian Sipahis existed and were allowed to fly their own Christian flag at times. As this claim is unsourced as well I added a couple of "citation needed" tags in that particular section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rhomaios (talkcontribs) 21:57, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

The previous flag[edit]

I did a "sorta" revert on the previous Greek flag. The cross on the SVG version was way too wide based on what I have seen. Not having a program to convert things to SVG, I merely modified the old PNG to make the colors similar to the one on the new version. Yahnatan 13:22, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Continued reverts[edit]

I know SVG is the preferred format for images like this, but please don't make blind reverts or changes. I have no way to make an SVG image, so I am going to keep the old flag on the PNG image (which is correct) until someone out there would be kind enough to make an SVG image that has the more correct proportions. Yahnatan 14:33, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I have uploaded an SVG file of the old national flag of Greece. The cross on the previous versions were either too wide or too narrow; I have a number of scans of old postcards that depict this flag with what I assume to be the correct proportions - I can include an example in this article if needed. Dragases 06:40, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I have replace the image of the current flag of Greece with a more accurate representation of the colours. I understand that there is no official shade of blue for the Greek flag, but in most cases (at least, on all official depictions) the shade is often a darker, royal blue. Dragases 09:48, 19 April 2006 (UTC)"
I've uploaded the flags on the commons, which is what you should have done, too. Please don't do this in the future, but instead discuss such changes on the talk pages of the files at the Wikimedia Commons. Thanks. —Nightstallion (?) Seen this already? 16:52, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Any idea why the old flag isn't showing up on the main page anymore? Both of my browsers are showing a blank. The full-size flag *is* on the commons page though. Yahnatan 17:31, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Bad SVG code, possibly? Mh. —Nightstallion (?) Seen this already? 08:56, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Greek Flag[edit]

I had rewritten the greek article in the past and I've placed in comments here the history of the Greek Flag through the greek laws that describe it. I had totaly forgotten about it, till today. Someone should translate these into english, to avoid original research like that about 9 muses etc. The part about Byzantine Eagle is redundant, it should go to Double-headed eagle and it should mention sources. talk to +MATIA 17:09, 28 February 2006 (UTC)


The references mentioned have English titles. If these books were written in Greek rather than English, would somebody add the correct Greek titles? Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 23:09, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Byzantine navy flag[edit]

What is the reference for this flag? As far as I know, the BBBB motto was of the Palaeologus dynasty, so it is impossible it was used in the 4th century.--RedMC 19:36, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

This "Byzantine navy flag" is, as I read in FOTW, a reconstruction from a Naval Museum in Crete. No idea where they got it from though. There is no indication of the use of the 4 B's prior to the 13th century (at least not that I know of), but most Byzantine flags did indeed feature the cross, sometimes with letters in the four quadrants, mostly of religious significance (e.g. IC XC NI KA "Jesus Christ Conquers). As a contributor to this article, I am certainly not happy with its authenticity, and the reference to the 4th century is - most likely - wrong, but so far I've let it stand there as an example of all these cross-and-letters flags. Regards, Cplakidas 20:09, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
In that case I'll reword the caption.--RedMC 20:35, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

But some Greecians refer to the flag as dome-fiotso, meaning hatred[edit]

In the end of the first paragraph, it writes: But some Greecians refer to the flag as dome-fiotso, meaning hatred.

Is this vandalism? Dome-fiotso? Never heard of that. Comment. 05:22, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

The (also) anon user who did it, tried to conceal it by also changing the spelling of civilisation to civilization.[1] I removed it. No idea what it means whatsoever. NikoSilver 11:19, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Nine muses for nine stripes[edit] probably urban legend. At least as long as it's unsourced. 14:52, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Old Parliament building in Athens[edit]

They no longer fly the old flag at the Old Parliament building in Athens. It was recently replaced with the national flag. Sv1xv (talk) 13:19, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Really? I was there about 2 weeks ago and it was there... Is this an official decision? If so, pity. Constantine 13:38, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't know if it is an official decision. I just noticed it a couple of days ago. Sv1xv (talk) 14:22, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

The old-style national flag at the Old Parliament building has been restored. Sv1xv (talk) 02:16, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Slight Problem[edit]

One of the pictures of the flag has a caption reading "Flag flown on Santorini". I was wondering if someone could add /Thēra after Santorini, or possible add "alternatively called Thēra". My problem is that Santorini is the Italian name for the island, and both names are acceptable. I would do it, but when I go to edit it, I can't spot the caption on the page. Kostantino888Z (talk) 22:08, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Blue and White Colors[edit]

Back in 2006 I found a five-line article about Greek flag and expanded it to (pretty much) its current form. Since then, many users have kindly contributed and perfected the article. I was kind of surprised, though, visiting the article after a long time, to see that all of my references (including citations) about the blue and white colors had been wiped out.

I do respect the scientific approach of many users, and do recognize that the historical research on the Greek flag is extremely limited and often unreliable. Please note that even the so much "promoted" Byzantine flag from the 14th century Spanish Atlas should be seen with some reservation. This design cannot be found (to my knowledge) in any Greek source, looks awfully similar to a Catalan flag of the time (see A. Znamierowski, the World Encyclopedia of Flags, p. 101), and there is a possibility that it was a variation for local usage.

Nonetheless, I added back a small chapter about the colors, with all the reservations I consider reasonable. I don't want to start an endless thread, but I think all theories should at least be presented and respected, provided they are based on sources that cannot be easily rejected. Skartsis (talk) 17:02, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Hello Skartsis! As I am the one who "wiped out" most of these references, let me explain myself. Most of these occurrences are, as you yourself admit, coincidental, but they have nevertheless been construed, in the typical Greek fashion, to constitute "unshakeable evidence of the nation's continuity". Since Byzantium is referred to, and this happens to be an area of great interest to me, let me point out just a few of the issues here: first, the "devilion" is a term I have never come across while reading Byzantine texts or books on Byzantium, including works on emblems, the army, etc. Second, there is zero evidence anywhere that there were any "white and blue" Byzantine flags, or, to be more exact, that there were any flags in the modern sense, aside from army unit banners, which however are usually represented in manuscripts with all kind of colours (mostly red and blue). There is also no indication (aside from the legend on the Kallergis' coat of arms, which is undoubtedly of much later origin) of "blue and white" coats of arms or emblems of any kind. The emperor also never used "blue and white" clothes, at least not according to the very meticulous Taktika, etc... The list goes on. As for Antiquity, the only solidly attested flag I know of was red, the phoinikis, a reference to which I added. Where the above authors have found the "blue and white" flags of Alexander the Great is a mystery to me.
I have looked through the Zafeiriou and Kokkonis books for instance, and there are (IIRC) no ancient or medieval primary sources mentioned. Mostly they refer to the book by Tzouras, which I do not have access to. However, given the time it was written, I have grave doubts on its reliability and neutrality as a secondary source. Even if the items listed were true, this still would not constitute any relation whatsoever with the modern flag, since someone would have to prove that the people at Epidaurus in 1821 consciously patterned the new state's flag after those ancient and medieval precedents. Of this there is no evidence, and every source I've read on this says quite clearly that the reason these colours and arrangement were chosen is unknown. Per WP guidelines, we simply cannot support or even imply continuity based on coincidence (and outright error or even invention, I am afraid). I appreciate national myths, but this is IMO a blatant case of perpetuated, un-verifiable original research and we should make a stand against it.
PS, for the 14th-century Byzantine flag, the overall design may perhaps be inaccurate, but a) it comes from a contemporary primary source, and more importantly b) the use of the tetragrammic cross in flags is well attested (see the article on Byzantine heraldry). Its verifiability is therefore head and shoulders above the "blue and white" emblems mentioned in the article. Best regards, Constantine 18:07, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Hello Constantine. First of all, I don't want to be misunderstood on one thing: I truly appreciate a meticulous, scientific approach, especially to sensitive issues like this; this protects Wikipedia from its biggest threat: lack of credibility.
I have also been puzzled, since my young age, about the sources of some of the "research" on several such issues. Very often old authors were "sloppy", without proper citations in the modern sense. However, one has to be careful before discarding such texts, assuming - more or less - fabrication of facts. There is EXTREMELY little written evidence on details of Byzantine life, and one cannot exclude oral tradition (with all its ambiguity); on the other hand, some of these authors may have had access to sources not obvious to us today. My feeling is that what is written in these books cannot be that easily discarded altogether. By the way, Tzouras's book (which I found in the Piraeus Naval Museum, but I am sure one can also find it in other libraries) provides specific references for the Devilion (Δεβίλιον - see note 3 on page 14 "χρον. Γεωρ. Γραντζή Βιβλ. Β' Κεφ. Λ' σελ. 28").
I actually have more reservations about the Kallergis "tradition". Years ago I contacted one of their descendants, I think it was Emmanouel (Manolis) Kallergis who has researched their background and is the author of "ta tragoudia ton Kallergidon". He could also verify a coat of arms with blue and silver (rather than white) stripes, but nothing like the modern Greek flag. And I do have very serious reservations about the flag from the Spanish Atlas that you so much "promote" (I am not talking about the tetragrammatic cross and its colors on the upper right and lower left, but the overall "heraldic" arrangement, following the pattern of a 1350 Barcelona flag - especially since there was no Byzantine "state flag" as such). Either some Spaniard "interpreted" a Byzantine symbol in such a fashion, or some local representative used such a variation.
There is no way - I agree - that when the modern Greek flag was designed, all this claimed older usage was even known, let alone influnce the pattern. That's why it should be stated that even if accurate, it only adds significance AFTER the fact (design) - as it happens with many flags around the world whose colors are later connected with differentiated references.
Based on all the above, it is reasonable to add reservations (a lot, if you want) to any claims, I fully agree, and the article HAD to be corrected. Where I disagree, though, is the "easy" assumption about fabricated facts and dismissal of such information altogether. Best Regards, Labros Skartsis (talk) 15:11, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Continuing on the above, I have added some more "clarifying" reservations in the chapter about the colors. See if you agree, and you may, if you want, add your own. Skartsis (talk) 15:42, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply. For this devilion, would it be possible for you to provide the exact citation, and perhaps the primary medieval source where it can be found? I doubt whether I will be able to consult with a library in the next few weeks, and I really want to see what Tzouras has to say about this. As for the section on the blue and white colours, by all means let it stay, but I suggest that it be moved further down, perhaps as a subsection to the adoption of the modern flag, since having it as a separate section so early on is somewhat misleading (i.e. everything that comes after will be interpreted based on that section). I also agree with the general thrust of your comments, i.e. to make clear that this is what Greek flag books claim (given the prominence and ubiquitousness of such claims in Greece, I have come to think that they should be retained, if only to be refuted), but that there exists little evidence to back them up. And let us also include the Kallergis claim there as well, since this is a variation of the same theme. If you can provide any sources from Tzouras to back up any of these claims, please do (with the proviso that a primary source is referenced for them, not just the author's opinion).
For the "Spanish" Byzantine flag, I agree with your suspicions. To me too this arrangement smacks of a "westernized" interpretation. But, as I said before, it is the only attested design, and it accords to some extent of what we reliably know of later imperial flags. In comparison to the ubiquitous double-headed eagle "Byzantine flags" everyone knows and which never existed, this one is a much more solidly evidenced pattern. Constantine 15:47, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I transfer what I see from my photocopy of page 15 : "Ιδ. χρον. Γεωρ. Γραντζή Βιβλ. Β' Κεφ. Λ' σελ. 28 (description of the devilion represented on the Emperor's crown), ιδ. και εν τη εφημερίδα Εθνικ. Νομισματ. Μουσείου του έτους 1889 Σελ. 363-389." As for the Kallergis - Phocas story, Tzouras, too, cites "Σάθα, Κρητικόν Θέατρον (πρόλογος)", a 1860s book that is supposed to be in the national library, but is never available (and which, frankly, I don't know how reliable a source it can be). Good luck ! Skartsis (talk) 16:06, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I guess the former is meant to be George Sphrantzes, since no Chronicle of a George Grantzes exists. In that case, the reference is odd. The second book only has 15 chapters, and I cannot find any reference to this "devilion" anywhere in it. I've also done a cursory check on the other two books, again nothing. Sorry to impose on you, but if you could scan the page and upload it or send it in an email, it'd be great. Constantine 10:41, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, I know Frantzis or Sfrantzis, but not Grantzis. Amyway, I'll scan and send the Tzouras book page with the ref. (I need your e-mail). When you say "other two books" do you mean Zafeiriou and Kokkonis ? (because we know they definitely do not have anything about the devilion). Sathas talks about Kallergis. Skartsis (talk) 15:13, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
No, I meant books I & III of Sphrantzes' Chronicle. Cheers, Constantine 15:59, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
OK, I sent it Skartsis (talk) 18:16, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the prompt reply! All right, let's see. The Λ was actually a badly printed A. I checked the chapter again, but no written reference. It is therefore likely that Tzouras means an illustration included in some Greek edition. I did however remember having seen a term similar to the "devilion", and searched pseudo-Kodinos's Book of Offices. Sure enough, there is mention of the Διβέλλιον, on which more here. But, as you will notice, there is no mention of it being of any precise shape or colour whatsoever (nor is there in the original text of Kodinos). It seems to me that the author, aside from getting the name wrong, also confused the dibellion with the flag of the naval vessels (the βασιλικόν φλάμουλον), which is simply the tetragrammic cross (and certainly not the dibellion, which is explicitly stated to have been unique). Tzouras (or the source he relies on) most likely misinterpreted the term πυρέκβολα ("firesteels"), by which the four stylized "B"s are meant, as these rays he talks about.

Overall however, the picture that Tzouras' book presents unfortunately corresponds to what I feared. His only concern is to list as many incidences of "blue and white" being associated, however tenuously, with the Greeks, and that they consequently where "national colours" retained through the ages. The very fact that he brings in Christ and the clothes he supposedly wore or that he compares the colours of the circus factions with the Italian flag, show what kind of "scholar" he is. As for the clothes of the despotes and sebastokratores, you can see for yourself: mostly red with gold and white. Granted, the sebastokrator's shoes were blue, but that's about it. In conclusion, Tzouras can under no circumstances be regarded as a reliable source (more like an early Liakopoulos, I'd say ;P). Best regards, Constantine 20:37, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Good job, Constantine. Such efforts only enhance Wikipedia's value. However, despite having said that I don't want to start an endless thread, I'll just have to give you my overall "feeling".

I wouldn't be so sure about all the above...

In brief, as we are talking about a period for which today we have very little evidence and written proof, I would be very cautious before discarding entire works, even assuming fabricated facts. Not before one is aware of every single manuscript "hidden" in a monastery or a library archive, or lost for ever a hundred - or more - years ago, can say that so prevalent popular beliefs or things repeated for so many years in so many sources are "definitely untrue".

No doubt, Tzouras belonged to this old-fashioned "patriotic" school of thought. He was sloppy and wanted to interpret things his way, but he did not fabricate things. So, after all there existed a Divelion (granted, not Devilion). As for his reference, he obviously refers to an edition of the chronicle with an image (he describes a representation of it, as it appears on Paleologos's crown). I have no reason to assume that he confused it with anything, because I (and we) don't have access to what he saw and what he read. I remember being a kid and reading in an old (1920s) encyclopedia about Paleologos's "blue and white flag". So, no, I am not sure about this, as I am not sure about the usage and the origins of the double-headed eagle, or nobles' clothes (of which period?), or the origins of the tetragrammatic cross. Because there is today incredible lack of evidence (my own sister has done her Ph.D. in Byzantine archaeology and is equally frustrated), and I don't have access to all the sources that people who wrote and talked about these issues - especially 100 or more years ago - perhaps had (unreliable as they may have been).

In brief, I am just not as sure as you are. I think we are both clear in our points of view, no hard feelings or anything. As long as enough reservations and documentation is provided, I believe Wiki's credibility will be fairly well protected. Best Regards, Labros Skartsis (talk) 16:35, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Of course there are no hard feelings. This is not a dispute, after all, although I may sometimes come across as a bit abrupt in my writing. I really enjoy working with you in this one, and it already has produced positive results: I added the dibellion to the Byzantine heraldry article. Regarding Tzouras, I never said he fabricated the evidence. He consistently misinterprets it however, and engages in what in wiki-parlance would be a perfect example of WP:SYNTH. How did he know the dibellion was blue and white, if no safely identified representation of it survives (per the very credible secondary source I gave above)? If his source is a 19th-century illustration, what guarantee is there that this was not invented or coloured from the artist's imagination? I can not in all honesty believe that he had access to a source in the 19th century that is lost to scholars today, after more than 100 years of more and more manuscripts being discovered, edited and published. It is like using 19th-century books on the appearance of the late Roman army.
To be honest, I am annoyed and appalled by the poor level of genuine research done in Greece even today (not only in history, alas), and what I've seen of most self-proclaimed Greek "historical" authors who write on similar subjects is not encouraging. They are more interested in propaganda than truth. Given that the primary sources are PD and freely available, and that there are excellent secondary and tertiary sources available (Greek and foreign), I see no reason to lend credence to a Greek army officer who wrote at a time where historical objectivity, even amongst scholars, was not very high.
Simply put, an author who clearly has an agenda of questionable validity, and who in two occasions gets his descriptions (which form a central core of his argument) wrong in the space of a single page, and who brings in Christ and his disciples as an argument, must be treated very carefully. Sure, there is scarcity of evidence (alas...), but that is no reason to suppose that he had some secret source that told him things we don't know. I appreciate the uncertainty factor, and that you hesitate to dismiss Tzouras out of hand, but the threshold for Wikipedia is the famous "verifiability, not truth". And as far as I am concerned Tzouras is demonstrably not a verifiable, reliable, or neutral source.
Anyhow, as I said, I do agree with letting these widely used and accepted myths in the article, as long as it is made clear that they are included as "popular perceptions", and that they do not correspond to facts. Only please let's move the section further down, for in its present place, right at the beginning, it assumes the air of legitimacy.Constantine 19:04, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Please move the section, no problem (obviously) with me. The topic is definitely interesting, I agree, and I hope at some point we'll "unearth" all surviving sources about the double-headed eagle, Phocas, Kallergis etc. Skartsis (talk) 19:49, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

"Tetragrammic cross" or "tetragrammatic cross" ?[edit]

In this article and elsewhere the term "tetragrammic cross" is used (for the late Byzantine emblem). Apart from an apparent "transliteration" logic, I also have seen it described in several other sources as "tetragrammatic cross". Which is the correct version ? (I have a feeling the second should be more correct). Obviously I did not change anything. What I did change, though, was the mention of the "plain" Greek flag as "a white St'George's cross on a blue background". I am quite positive that St'George's cross is associated with red on white. In case there are arguments against it, please go ahead and make a correction. Skartsis (talk) 18:34, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

In western (mainly british) heraldry, the attributed arms of St George consist of a red cross on a silver (white) field. In Greece, where no heraldic tradition exists, simply there is no such thing as a "St. George's cross". SV1XV (talk) 20:34, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I agree. I also went ahead and changed "tetragrammic" to "tetragrammatic" as it appears more correct from a "transliteration" point of view, and as I have only seen it as such in every (other than Wiki-sourced) source I have seen. Obviously it can be changed, if anybody has arguments supporting the "tetragrammic" version. Skartsis (talk) 07:48, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
"Tetragrammic" was the form used in the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, which is why I changed it from "tetragrammatic". I don't know which is to be preferred, though. For the St. George's cross, as a design it is present in Byzantine art from the 12th century on, probably under the influence of the Crusaders, e.g. in a rather well-known icon (ca. 1300) of SS Sergius and Bacchus from Sinai [2]. Constantine 08:47, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't want to start a "theory" but as far as "St.George's cross is concerned (I mean with red on white), as it appears on the "Flag of the Empire of Constantinople" depicted in the Spanish Atlas, I am quite confident that it represents Genoa. This particular quartered arrangement features the usual "Western" pattern of combination of two entities; in this case, it appears to combine the usual Byzantine tetragrammatic cross with Genoa's cross (logically representing the semi-autonomous settlement in Galata). This is the reason why I think that this quartered flag was stricly a "Constantinople" symbol, perhaps used for a limited time. Skartsis (talk) 11:02, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Flag Colors[edit]

Anybody knows the exact codes of the colors? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:28, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

There is no exact specification in the constitution of the shade of blue on the Greek national flag. The current design has been depicted/flown in various shades in recent times (post junta); dark - no darker than Egyptian Blue, to as light as Sky Blue. Most non-Greek flag manufacturers I've seen on the web sell a sky blue version (which, in my opinion is WRONG). In most official representations though (from my experience having served in the Greek military), the most accurate shade of blue I remember seeing the national flag was closer to a blue between Egyptian blue and Persian blue. I'd go so far as to say that the shade on the flag depicted on Wikipedia in the Flag of Greece article (as of 28/10/2011) is too light. Dragases (talk) 02:50, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually there are no "wrong" versions, as long as the Greek Government does not bother to specify a specific shade of blue using modern color specification standards. SV1XV (talk) 04:57, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
OK, maybe instead of "wrong" I should have written "extremely uncommon". Regardless of what is depicted on the site of the Presidency, the shade of blue I've seen used on all examples of "official" (i.e. government, military) national flags have been closer to the shade I mentioned above. I believe this is a better indication of which shade is officially preferred. Dragases (talk) 14:03, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I beg to differ. If you remember, the color of the flag at the opening ceremony of Athens 2004 was approximately     . The current version on wikipedia is a compromise between the very light      and very dark      versions in use. I chose it for that exact reason. It sits between the two extremes and it is the color shown in the presidency website. --Philly boy92 (talk) 15:32, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Then, we agree to disagree. I have a sewn national flag which was obtained during my time in the military, and it is the same shade as all the national flags we used in an official capacity (i.e. on bases, exercises, parades etc.); it is closer to Egyptian blue in shade. All Naval vessels I've seen fly the flag with the darker shade. In any case, that's my opinion. Cheers. Dragases (talk) 04:19, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
The Flags of the World website at any rate has the shade of blue as Pantone 286 c [3], which is indeed darker than the current version. Constantine 10:54, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Whats the source that specifies the flag color as Panton 286? As far as I'm aware the government has not released any official colors. The ones in the current flag are based on the flag shown in the site of the Presidency, which is something between the very dark and very light variations in use throughout the country. The previous version was too dark. --Philly boy92 (talk) 14:08, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Original flag of the merchant marine[edit]

The flag displayed ("Short-lived merchant marine flag, 1822–28") is in contradiction with the written part of the article and the site of the Hellenic army, which state it was the same as the the navy flag except the cross being blue on white ground. There is no source for this picture. Shouldn't we remove it?--Phso2 (talk) 20:15, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't know where you saw that. Read the army article again: the original decree clearly states "for the merchant ships the background shall be blue, and in the inner upper corner (i.e. the canton) there shall be a white square and divided in the middle by a blue cross". The merchant flag is even depicted in the gallery at the end...
You're right, I misread the decree and was confused by the presidential page ("The only difference in the flag of the merchant marine was the reversal of colors in the corner"). Sorry.--Phso2 (talk) 13:52, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
No problem, we all make mistakes :) Constantine 14:34, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
From the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic:
"The land flag was square in shape, and had a white cross on a blue background. The marine flags resembled today's national flag. The only difference in the flag of the merchant marine was the reversal of colors in the corner where the cross was (a blue cross on a white background)" (link)
Therefore, the flag would have looked like this Merchant Navy of Greece flag (1822-1828).svg and not like this Greek merchant navy flag.svg. Also, a lot of images are depicted in the gallery at the end, without any mention as to what each one of them actually is. The Greek merchant navy flag.svg flag in the gallery bares no marking to make us assume that it was actually used as a merchant navy flag. Philly boy92 (talk) 19:10, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Philly, the presidency site's description is over-simplified: all flag books agree on the old form, and the text of the original decree mentions nothing about stripes for the merchant flag, while it explicitly refers to them for the ensign: "δε κατά θάλασσαν σημαία θα ήτο διττή' μία διά τα πολεμικά και άλλη διά τα εμπορικά πλοία. Και της μεν διά τα πολεμικά πλοία το εμβαδόν θα διηρείτο ες εννέα οριζόντια παραλληλόγραμμα, παραμειβομένων εις αυτά των χρωμάτων λευκού και κυανού' εις την άνω δε προς τα έσω γωνίαν τούτου του εμβαδού εσχηματίζετο τετράγωνον κυανόχρουν, διηρημένον εν τω μέσω δι' ενός σταυρού λευκοχρόου. Της δε διά τα εμπορικά πλοία διωρισμένης το εμβαδό θα ήτο κυανούν εις την άνω προς τα έσω γωνίαν τούτου του εμβαδού εσχηματίζετο ωσαύτως τετράγωνον λευκόχρουν και διηρημένον εν τω μέσω δι' ενός σταυρού κυανοχρόου.". Constantine 09:24, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

You can't expect the site of the presidency of the Republic to be simply "mistaken" on something as important as symbols of state. However, I do stand corrected since it is explicitely mentioned here that the blue-with-white-canton flag was indeed the flag of the merchant marine. May I also point out that since "τετράγωνον λευκόχρουν" was what the emerchant marine flag had at the canton, the current version (rectangle) is not correct. This would also apply to the national flag, also described as "a square", unless square had a different meaning back then, including rectangles? Philly boy92 (talk) 17:45, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I did not say "mistaken", I said "over-simplified", which it evidently is. Don't forget, heraldry and precision in such things is not really appreciated in Greece, and are usually treated hastily and sloppily. You raise a good point about the rectangle/square version, but a) τετράγωνον could mean any rectangle and b) I have yet to see any rendering of the merchant flag, whether Greek or foreign, with a square canton. Constantine 20:16, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I am aware of at least one instance where the canton of a national flag was square and not rectangular, and that is the Kingdom of Sardinia Flag of the Kingdom of Sardinia.svg. Taking into consideration that -as you said- the matter of heraldry is not taken too seriously in Greece, I would not be surprised if the versions presented in the history books and the army website were wrong. Furthermore, the definition of a "square" is "a rectangle whose sides are equal in size". Additionally, from Decree no. 540: "[the flag] of the ground forces, square in shape, is to be blue in color and divided into four equal parts by a white cross, crossing all the way to the edge of the flag". This is dubious in itself, since the wording provides for two different explanations:
  1. that the flag was square and divided into four smaller squares equal in size with eachother (like the canton of the current national flag) or
  2. that the flag was rectangular and divided into four smaller rectangles equal in size with eachother (like the flag under Otto)
So, was the first national flag almost identical to today's army flag Hellenic Army War Flag.svg or the naval jack Naval Jack of Greece.svg, or was it rectangular Flag of Greece (1822-1978).svg? Square flags exist to this day anyway (Flag of Belgium.svg 13:15, Flag of Switzerland.svg 1:1). Its a question of what they meant with the decree here, and the wording is quite confusing and inaccurate. Additionally, I believe we should set a standard shade of blue for all Greek flags on wikipedia, despite the fact that there is no "correct" shade of blue. My idea was that we choose the colors of the flag presented in the site of the presidency (     and     ) and use those an all Greek flags as it looks better than having 6 different shades of blue (the flags under Otto are excluded, since they were lighter in color). Not to mention that its a good balace between "very light" and "very dark" blue.
Anyway, I think the "flag of Greece" needs a lot of discussion....! Philly boy92 (talk) 23:57, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Also, an image of the merchant marine flag with a square canton can be seen here. If you think about it, it makes sense that the canton of the merchant marine flag is square, since the canton of the civil and state ensign is also square. Additionally this Merchant Navy of Greece flag (1822-1828).svg flag can be seen here ("Maritime Flags of All Nations") and here. --Philly boy92 (talk) 22:51, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, the Italian site mentions the Merchant Navy of Greece flag (1822-1828).svg flag as illustrated in some depictions, and I wouldn't place too much trust on a 19th-century book for Greece, which after all was an obscure nation at the time. There is nothing about this version being official in any way, nor any decree which prescribes it. It is far more probable that we are dealing with either a) an artist's error, perhaps resulting from confusion with the short-lived actual merchant ensign or b) flags actually flown but which were made privately by the ship captains who probably misinterpreted the flag decree. In the same vein, I have seen actual examples of naval flags with more or less than nine stripes, or with non-square cantons. Just because these flags existed does not mean we have to inundate the article with every single variant that was created. Constantine 10:48, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Kallergis Flag[edit]

Returning to the Flag of Greece article after a long time, I see that many of the original arguments remain (something that may help perfect the article and promote relevant research). I also see that some flags heve been added, including the supposed "Kallergis flag".

I'm afraid that the particular depiction (Kallergis flag) is completely arbitary. Since the existence of an old (17th century or earlier) flag that is virtually identical to modern Greece's sea (and later national) flag is obviously a VERY important issue, I tried to research it. Following the citations of all relevant old books I could not locate any "original" source (as is usually the case, one copies the other and thus the info propagates), just one reference that could perhaps lead to one, i.e., Sathas's "Κρητικόν Θέατρον", a book orginally published in Venice in the 1860s (every time I attempted, the National Library in Athens responded "not available"- anybody tried to find it?).

So I tried to seek a theoretically more "original" source: the Kallergis descendants. Thus I contacted Mr. Manolis Kallergis, who has published several books about his family's history. Mr. Kallergis confirmed a coat of arms with blue and white (actually silver) stripes, which anyway can still be seen in churches in Crete to this date, but knew nothing about the exact pattern that looks identical to today's Greek flag. Also, there is no "concrete" evidence about any Nikephoros Phokas's flag that looked like that.

In other words, the challenge remains: will anybody be able to locate any more substantial evidence about Phokas's or Kallergis's flags/coat of arms ? THIS would be a great contribution. Skartsis (talk) 15:55, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Due to the (very) limited bibliography on the evolution of the Greek flag, at least as far as I'm aware, most of the information comes from the website of the Greek armed forces and the research that they have done. I would be very interested in reading some of Mr. Kallergis' books, if you can provide some titles for us, in relation to the subject. --Caprica flag symbol.png Philly boy92 (talk) 16:34, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Just a couple of quick notes: I largely share Skartsis' concerns on the Kallergis flag. A word of caution also re the Greek Armed Forces website, as it probably relies itself mostly on the Kokkonis book which is used as a textbook in military and police academies. I'd not rely on it for much before 1821. I also have some concerns on the civil flag of the Cretan State, with the stripes. Aside from the Italian website, is there any other source that has it? Constantine 18:21, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
In this site, see bottom of the page, there is one relevant book (with, actually, one Kallergis coat of arms on the cover!). So see if you can contact Mr. Kallergis and if you have better luck than me. Philly boy: don't consider the Armed Forces Website a "scientific" source. Absolutely not ! Some people wrote books in the early 1900's, and whatever they wrote has been reproduced and propagated to this date, in typical Greek fashion, without further research. I've made this mistake myself. I am not ready to classify all this info as "garbage", but we all DO need to find some more hard evidence about such important matters. Whoever can unearth something substantial in the Kallergis issue will have made a truly scientific contribution. Skartsis (talk) 15:07, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
For the record, there are several examples of the Kallergis arms at, for instance, [4] and [5]. While they have the blue-and-white stripes, there is nothing to suggest either a) a cross in a canton or b) that they were ever used as a flag, let alone that they inspired the Greek flag. Constantine 12:17, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Coats of arms were (and still are) displayed as a flag which is called an armorial banner. However, there is no evidence for a direct connection between Kallergis arms and the greek flag. SV1XV (talk) 19:57, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Nobody said it was gonna be easy, Folks! These images are well known, as is the fact that they don't correlate with the theory about the flag with the cross in the canton etc. The question is whether we can "unearth" evidence (if it really exists) about such claims, included in the old books we have talked about. The one possible lead I am aware of, could be in Sathas' book about Cretan theater (not available in both National and Parliament libraries). Skartsis (talk) 15:37, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

War flags[edit]

War flags are also used by the Army NCO Academy and the Police Academy. They paraded with war flags on Independence Day 2011. SV1XV (talk) 13:29, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Reverse of the Flag of the Sacred Band[edit]

If I may ask, what happened to the reverse of the Flag of the Scared Band that showed Saints Constantine and Helen? Has been deemed unrealistic or fake? Kostantino888Z (talk) 21:42, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Good question. AFAIK the reverse did not have this wreathed cross, but a cursory search in the internet revealed such example. We are now faced with two versions of the reverse, obviously something isn't right here. Constantine 12:39, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
From my research, the flag of Alexander Ypsilantis was different from the flag of the Sacred Band. The Ypsilantis family continued to use the flag with the wreathed red cross, but the sacred band (whose flag featured Constantine and Helen) was discontinued after the defeat of the Sacred Band in Romania in 1821. Although they both were tricolor, the color arrangement differed; the Sacred Band used a tricolor of red-white-black (reverse: Sacred band 1821.gif, obverse: YpsilantisFlag.svg) and Ypsilantis used a flag of black-white-red (Alexander Ypsilantis flag (obverse).svg) the reverse of which was similar to the obverse version of the flag of the Sacred Band with the phoenix rising from its ashes. They were both inspired by Rigas Feraios' flag of red-white-black (Flag of Rigas Feraios.svg). --Philly boy92 (talk) 12:57, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

That flag is of such bad quality, perhaps it could be upgraded to a png or svg and made bigger and clearer? Kostantino888Z (talk) 03:57, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

'Similar' flags section[edit]

The title of the article is 'Flag of Greece', so I assume that various sections are more or less irrelevant or at least not closely connected with the title but they would fit in an article called 'Flags used in Greece through the centuries'. So we have, galleries, galleries and galleries, nearly all flags used by the Armed forces, or during the War of Independence and of course many of them are not even similar to the official flag.

Of course the most irrelevant section is the 'similar flags', which contains no prose, and is just another gallery in this article. So for consistency with Flag Countries articles and per Wikipedia:Images#Image_choice_and_placement, the specific gallery needs to go and some trimming in various other sections also necessary.Alexikoua (talk) 21:47, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

I've checked the ca. 25 FA, GA articles of Flags of Countries, but no similar category as similar flags in order to produce a random collection of a general category of flag types (in the case here canton type flags with stripes, with the exception of Cuba which is even more unrelated).Alexikoua (talk) 22:21, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Alexi. "similar" galleries are OK for commons, but not of any real encyclopaedic value, unless one or more can be proven to have provided direct inspiration for the Greek flag, or been inspired by it, which is a completely different criterion either way. Constantine 08:56, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

1936 Olympics[edit]

I just saw a documentary (One Day in September) which shows some archive videos from the 1936 Olympic Games opening ceremony in Berlin, and the flag being displayed isn't the flag of the Kingdom of Greece (the one with the sole cross with a crown in the middle), but the current flag (stripes and Hellenic cross in its canton). So I am confused about the actual Greek flag during 1936. Thoughts? --Pinnecco (talk) 16:57, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

The current Greek flag was always the co-national flag alongside the plain cross "land" version. It was defined in some old books I have as a "sea flag" and as a "flag for abroad", while the "land" flag was used mostly inside Greece (where the "sea" flag was also very popular, however). Constantine 17:02, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Presidential standard[edit]

I doubt the presidential standard was adopted in 1975, since the 1978 law clearly states that the Presidential standard is to be determined. [6] Unfortunately, I have not managed to find any law that specifies the presidential standard. Dimboukas (talk) 00:56, 9 February 2012 (UTC)