Svalbard and Jan Mayen are two separate geographical areas which were designated by the International Organization for Standardization. Both of these small regions are located in the arctic area of northern Norway and neither has their own official flag but rather both are represented by the national flag of Norway. This Scandinavian flag consists of a traditional blue Scandinavian cross rimmed in a thin white border set against a red background. The horizontal asymmetrical cross is situated on the hoist side which extends all the way to the end of the flag.

The Norwegian flag features a Scandinavian or Nordic cross which is characteristic of similar flags used by many other of Europe’s Nordic nations including that of Denmark and Iceland. As the central feature of the flag the cross is an obvious Christian symbol but unlike more traditional depictions of crosses the Scandinavian cross the center is located near the hoist. The central colors of blue and red are references to the neighboring countries of Sweden and Denmark.

Because Svalbard and Jan Mayen are both located within the country of Norway the two jurisdictions currently employ that nation’s flag as their own. Norway’s flag was designed by Fredrik Meltzer and approved by the two chambers of Norway’s parliament. Inspired by the official symbols of Denmark and France Norway’s red, white, and blue colors are thought to represent the freedom enjoyed by the people of Norway.

The Norwegian dependences of Svalbard and Jan Mayen don’t have their own official flags but rather fly the national flag of Norway. Set in the Arctic Ocean these islands operate under Norwegian sovereignty and as a condition of this operate under that country’s flag. During the 16th century and up until 1814 Norway and Denmark shared the same flag. Later, after Norway joined with Sweden these two countries shared a common flag. This was replaced in 1821 when Norway adopted its current flag design.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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