Talk:Flag of Sweden

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Copy edit[edit]

I am not particullary please with this artcile i think it needs rewriting. --User:Fonzy 13:25, 25 August 2002 (UTC)

I have one thing to say: be bold in updating pages. --Ato 13:54, 25 August 2002 (UTC)

Wrong Colours in Union Flag[edit]

The Sweden-Norway Union flag colours are slightly wrong. This has been discussed at Commons:Image_talk:Norge-Sverige-Sildesalaten.svg, but only implemented in the Norwegian version of the flag. Here comes a brief description of whats wrong:

  • The blue colour of the Swedish flag was darker previously, and lacked a clear definition.
  • The hoist cantons (see Flag terminology) were usually squares, although this also lacked clear definition (I think).
  • The Union Emblem (the "herring sallad") in the top hoist canton had only one shade of blue. In the Swedish flag, the same blue as in the rest of the flag was used even in the Norwegian portion of the emblem, and vice versa.

N.B. The image "Commons:Image:Sweden union flag 1844-1905.jpg" is a modern reconstruction and is not correct, as mentioned in sv:Sveriges flagga.

I could change this myself if I only had a programme for editing SVGs. Help is appreciated.

HymylyT@C 18:56, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


I took a shot at modifying the image in a direction that was brought up there. It has now a single darker blue shade and the hoist side cantons are square. The question is now if the shade of blue is correct, and whether the ratio of the flag is correct. But at least it is a step in the right direction. -- TimSE 18:01, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Thank you, indeed. I think we could leave the proportions like this, as I think they haven't ever been properly defined. About the colours I think the blue should be slightly brighter. Sweden's flag has always been brighter than the Norway's, whereas this image contains the same shade. HymylyT@C 14:50, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
The shade of blue is now about in the middle between the shade of blue in the current-day Swedish flag and the current-day Norwegian flag. May take again a few hours until it starts showing up properly though, seems to be some odd delays when updating images. -- TimSE 16:35, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Union naval jack[edit]

Sorry, the naval jack depicted in the article is the Norwegian version, forming an equilateral rectangle. The Swedish version was a wider rectangle with proportions 5:4, as in the Swedish merchant flag and naval ensign between 1844 and 1905. This Swedish version was also the flag used by the diplomatic representations abroad. Related to this correction, two other errors in the illustrations need to be pointed out. The 1818-1844 flag had equilateral squares on the hoist side, while the 1844-1905 flag had the wider rectangle with proportions 5:4. The proportions of these two flags seem to have been mixed up. Roede 20:14, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Interesting (a made a slight edit of the caption), but why was the dimensions of the naval jack (not union badge as a part of other ensigns) decided by the dimensions of the civil ensigns? Do you have any sources supporting that claim? Unfortuantly, the eminent FOTW/Sweden doesn't provide sources, but the union badge seemed to have come in different proportions in both countries!. Camptown 08:00, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
My most reliable source is the notification (cirkulär) to the consuls of the United Kingdoms from the Royal Department of Foreign Affairs, dated 18 October 1899, signed by Erik Gustaf Boström as acting foreign minister, following the demise of Count Douglas. Attached is a printed flag chart in colours, showing (wirh French and English text): 1) Diplomatic and Consular Flag of the United Kingdoms. (Proportions 5:4) 2) Flag of the Royal Swedish Navy. (With the union badge, proportions 5:4) 3) Flag of the Royal Norwegian Navy. ((With the union badge, proportions 1:1) 4) Merchant Flag of Sweden. (With union badge, proportions 5:4) 5) Merchant Flag of Norway. (Without union badge, as Norwegian flags of 1821 and at present). The reason for this message to the consuls was that the union badge would be removed from the Norwegian merchant flag on 15 December, 1899, exactly one year after the proclamation in the official gazette of the Royal Resolution in the Notwegian cabinet of 10 December 1898, in which King Oscar II signed the Norwegian Flag Law, unanimously passed by the Storting on 17 November 1898. The consuls were asked to notify their respective host governments of the changes to the flags of 1844.
I have looked up the Swedish and Norwegian FOTW pages, and I have to agree with you that there seems to be quite a lot of confusion about the proportions of Swedish flags. However, the most recent illustrations signed by the most reliable vexillologists seem to agree with the abovementioned official source. The exhibition arranged in 2005 by the Maihaugen Museum of Lillehammer and the Livrustkammaren in Stockholm displayed the royal flags of both countries. I don't have the catalogue at hand where I am writing, but I koow that both flags illustrated there. I recommend that you try to get hold of that catalogue or consult the Bernadotte archives in Stockholm, where the flag is deposited. The royal flags had the same proportions as the respective naval ensigns of the two countries. Roede 14:45, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Double and triple[edit]

The article should try to be a bit more vague about the switch from a double-tailed to a triple-tailed flag in the mid-1600s. I started working at the Vasa museum this week and since I noticed that all modern models and depictions of Vasa had triple-tailed flags, I asked the museum director about it. He said that there wasn't much in the form of standardization before the late 1600s and showed me a contemporary painting of ships from the late 1620s flying triple-tailed flags. He also showed me a picture of Swedish ships from the 16th century that had flags with blue and yellow horizontal stripes.

Peter Isotalo 06:59, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

I think the article is pretty cautious about that. However, it should be pointed out that the tripe-tailed ensign is officially mentioned for the very first time in the Royal Warrant of 1663 (Plakat, av den 6. Nov. 1663, angående den åtskillnad som härefter bör observeras emellan de flaggor som Kongl. Maj:ts enskilda skepp och farkoster föra, så ock de skepps och farkosters flaggor, som private personer tillhöra och af dem brukas skola). When I looked at older legislation at the library of the Swedish Riksdag, the "official" ensign is described as double tailed. I would presume that the triple-tailed was introduced gradually during the end of the Protestant War (possibly as of c. 1650). Regarding the Vasa Museum, I think it uses the current triple-tailed naval ensign (modern version) very much because the Vasa was de facto military property for the first years after the salvage in 1961. However, persuant to a legal derogation, the Museum still flies the current naval ensign on the top of its roof, as well as on a model of the ship inside the museum! Before moving to its present location in the 1980s, the very ship also carried the modern naval ensign, for some reason the ensign was placed in the aft where you'd normally expect the see a command sign. The flags with blue and yellow horizontal stripes the director showed you are most probably command signs! --Odengatan 18:07, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't remember the finer details, but I believe the striped flags were flown on several masts, not just over the stern. I also found the water color that the director showed me in another book, I lejonets tid (English translation is called Glorious Vasa) on page 247. It's dated 1626-28 and depicts several Swedish ships (and a Dutch one) and they are flying several types of flag on what looks like their main masts.
What's curious about the triple-tailed ensign is that it's used in the modern paintings of Vasa that have been done by Smitheman and Tim Thompson. One would think that military tradition wouldn't be a factor in their choice of flags, but this is just me guessing, and I don't know all that much about maritime history nor vexillology.

Peter Isotalo 19:11, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Double tail needs support[edit]

Per the discussion from 2007, the article needs some solid support for the claim that there there was actually standardized, double-tailed form of the flag from 1562. The only reference right now is a quote from a 16th-century primary source (a letter from Gustav I apparently). That does not amount to proper support, especially since early flags like this were anything but standardized.

Where does the claim regarding the double-tailed flag come from?

Peter Isotalo 21:47, 19 May 2014 (UTC)