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Ellás - Hellenic Republic, Ellinikì Dhimokratìa

Last modified: 2005-08-06 by ivan sache
Keywords: greece | ellas | europe | cross (white) | jack | coat of arms (national) |
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[Flag of Greece]by Željko Heimer

Flag adopted 22 December 1978, coat of arms adopted 7 June 1975.
Description: Nine horizontal stripes, alternately blue and white; a white cross on a blue square field in canton.
Proportion: 2:3
Use: on land, civil, State and war flag, at sea, civil, State and war ensign.

Colour approximate specifications (as given in Album des Pavillons [pay00]):

  • Blue: Pantone 286 c / CMYK (%) C 100 - M 60 - Y 0 - K 5

On this page:

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Origin and meaning of the Greek flag

The striped flag has been in use since 1822, and was approved in 1832.

The nine stripes are said to stand for the nine syllables of the Greek patriots' motto:

Ελευθερια η Θανατος (Eleutheria ê Thanatos), meaning "Freedom or Death".

This motto is now the national motto of Greece.

Paul Adams, 19 June 1995

Unofficial alternative Greek flag

[Alternative Flag of Greece]by Ivan Sache

The simple white-cross-on-blue flag dates from 1822, and was used as an alternative national flag, but only in land, not at sea. Only the striped flag was used at sea.

From June 1975 until December 1978 the plain cross flag was used as the only national flag. The situation is now reversed, and the striped flag is now the only official national flag, although the cross flag can still be seen in unofficial use.

Paul Adams, 19 June 1995

Shade of the Greek flag

There is no officially prescribed shade of blue for the Greek flag in the 1978 law. The 1970 law that abolished the plain cross flag did not specify a particular shade either, but it did provide that all flags should conform with "prototype" flags lodged with two government departments.
The shade of blue on the prototypes was, probably, very dark hence the very dark shade of flags made in 1970- 1975. A lighter shade of blue is used nowadays (by convention, presumably) but still not as light as United Nations blue.

Yannis Natsinas, 14 November 2000

Greek jack

[Greek Jack]by Željko Heimer

The Greek jack is a blue square flag with a white cross throughout. The width of the cross is 1/5th of the hoist width.

Source: Album des Pavillons [pay00]

Željko Heimer, 10 October 2001

Greek coat of arms

[Coat of arms of Greece]by Željko Heimer

Source: Album des Pavillons [pay00]