How to fly the Dannebrog

You don’t have to live in Denmark for long to notice how much the Danes love their flag, the Dannebrog. It is used for almost all celebrations and you can get hold of a variety of little flags for parties, napkins, bunting, etc,  and wooden flags on stands for the table at a special dinner or meal. In restaurants if you tell the waiting staff you are celebrating a birthday they will often bring a little flag for the table. I think we are fairly lucky here in Denmark that the flag hasn’t been appropriated in a negative way.Since we moved to a house with a flag pole out the front, like most of our neighbours, we decided to look into the rules about flag flying especially after I read this article .

I also recall a funny chapter in Helen Russell’s book, The Year of Living Danishly,  about how she fell foul of the local flag ‘police’. So what are the rules about flying the Dannebrog?

There is an organisation called Danmarks Samfundet who are in charge of the flag rules here so here goes!

  • The flag must be of the correct proportion and this is related to the height of your flag pole.
  • You must face the flag when it is being raised and it must never touch the ground.
  • It must be lowered before sunset unless you have a light to illuminate it. If you fly the flag after sunset it is known as flying the flag for the devil (at flage for Fanden). If you have a flagstaff and you want to fly the Danish flag but you can’t be doing with raising and lowering it everyday you can use a Danish streamer (see picture below) and this must be half the height of your flag pole in length.
  • No other flag must be flown from the same flagstaff at the same time.
  • Other Scandinavian flags, the UN flag and the EU flag are also permitted to be flown in Denmark, but require special permission from the local police.
  • If Dannebrog is to be flown alongside nearby flags, it must be raised first, and from the left side. Following that, the other flags are raised in alphabetical order (so the Norwegian flag would be raised before the Swedish one, for instance).
  • When the flag is worn out and needs to be disposed of, it must be burned.
  • The flag must be raised and lowered slowly.

Want to know more? Danmarks Samfundet have produced some helpful guides in English here and here.

NB This post contains an affiliate link.

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