Culture

Celebrations take place as Faroese flag turns 100

The Faroese flag was shown in public for the first time on 2 June 1919 in Fredensborg, a town 30 km north of Copenhagen. To celebrate the centennial anniversary of this historic happening, seven Faroese wooden ships docked in Copenhagen this past Sunday, 2 June 2019. The celebrations included a parade, memorial ceremony, a church service in Fredensborg, speeches, singing and the opportunity for people to step on board the ancient ships, some of which date back to 1884.

The Faroese Association of Wooden Sailing Ships, or Felagið Føroysk Træseglskip, has organised the centennial celebrations. The ships and their crews departed the Faroe Islands on 16 May and have visited several Danish towns on their way to Copenhagen, including Odense, Fyn, Århus, and Helsingør. The visits have included art exhibitions, musical performances, samples of Faroese food and lectures about Faroese design and tourism in the Faroe Islands. In each location, people had the opportunity to step on board the ships to experience first hand the living and working conditions of crews in ancient days, when the ships fished in waters surrounding Iceland and Greenland.

About the flag
The Faroese flag is called Merkið, meaning “the banner” or “the mark”. It was designed in 1919 by Jens Oliver Lisberg and other students in Copenhagen. The first time Merkið was raised in the Faroe Islands was on 22 June 1919, in Famjin, the home village of Mr. Lisberg, during a wedding. 

On 25 April, 1940, the British government, who were occupying the Faroe Islands during the Second World War, approved the flag for use by Faroese vessels. April 25 is still celebrated as Flag Day (“Flaggdagur”) and is a national holiday. Merkið was finally recognized by the Danish Government as the national flag of the Faroe Islands in the Home Rule Act of 23 March, 1948. The original flag is displayed in the church in Famjin on the island of Suðuroy.

The flag of the Faroe Islands is an offset cross, representing Christianity. It follows the traditions of other Nordic flags, such as Dannebrog (Flag of Denmark).

For images and films of the journey to Denmark, visit the event’s Facebook page, Flaggsigling 2019.

Read more about the flag of the Faroe Islands here.

Words: Levi Hanssen
Pics: Representation of the Faroes in Copenhagen and Flaggsigling 2019

This article was originally published on: Faroeislands.fo

Share this article on social media:

More in Culture