Cold Christian Crosses, in Calm, Captivating Countries

What do, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Aland islands, Iceland, and the British Islands of Orkney and Shetland all have in common? The Nordic Cross flag. The cross is slightly shifted to the left of each flag, making the flags asymmetrical. The cross represents Christianity, which as been in Scandinavia since the year 965 AD.

Denmark, having the oldest continuously used flag in the world, has special rules for those who wish to fly its ancient flag, or a foreign one. One such law makes it illegal to fly a non Nordic flag without special permission from the town government unless it is the flag of Greenland, the EU or the UN.

Greenland, a Nordic country, has rejected the Nordic cross, being the only Nordic country to do so. Greenland is owned and supported by Denmark, but population wise, Greenland is far from Danish. The population of Greenland is 88% Inuit, and only 12% Danish. By rejecting the Nordic cross flag, Greenlandic people have made clear their intent to separate from Denmark, the country that has supported them for a very long time.

What else do Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Aland islands, and Iceland have in common? According to The Science Nordic, “The Nordic countries have, in the last ten years, been ranked consistently as the “world’s best countries to live in”.” With a small, highly educated, highly taxed (up to 65%) and happy population, it's not surprising that the Nordic countries are consistently ranked highly in things ranging from, bike use, to eliminating the wage gap, to effective prisons.

The Nordic cross flag represents extremely successful countries with long histories and happy people. Scandinavians in particular, love to fly their flags. So the next time you see a flag with a cross shifted to the left, you’ll known what it means, and what it represents.