Denmark marks 800-year anniversary of national flag

Stockholm: Denmark on Saturday celebrated the 800th anniversary of its national flag, the Dannebrog, with a flyover and other public festivities. Danish Queen Margrethe II was in Estonia where according to tradition the flag dropped out of the sky on June 15, 1219. That took place during the Battle of Lindanise — what is today’s Estonian capital of Tallinn — contributing to a victory for Danish forces led by King Valdemar II. Two parachutists carrying Danish and Estonian flags dropped out of the sky shortly after the queen arrived at Tallinn harbour on board the royal yacht Dannebrog, broadcast images showed. The queen was welcomed by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid. The queen’s visit was also to mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.

Other members of the Danish royal family took part in other events in Denmark where the flag — a white cross on a red background — was celebrated. The queen’s youngest son, Prince Joachim, attended a ceremony at Copenhagen City Hall Square with interim prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen in attendance, among others. The Danish air force painted a F-16 jet fighter red and white, and at midday conducted a flyover over large swathes of Denmark at about 600 metres altitude. The Dannebrog is believed to be one of the oldest national flags still in use. — DPA