The flag of the Northern European country of Sweden sports a simple design composed of the colors blue and yellow. The central feature on the flag is a yellow off centered Scandinavian or Nordic cross which is set against a solid blue background. Sweden’s flag was officially adopted on June 22, 1906.

What Do the Flag's Colors and Symbols Mean?

The origins of the modern Swedish flag can be traced back to the 16th century. Its prominent cross design feature is an obvious reference to the Christian faith. The presence of this off centered cross takes its inspiration from the same white cross which is depicted on the Danish flag. The use of the colors blue and yellow originates from the nation’s coat of arms.

Who Designed the Flag?

The blue which makes up the background of Sweden’s flag is said to symbolize justice, loyalty, and truth. The yellow on the cross represents generosity. The design of the flag was determined by an order from the Swedish government known as The Flag Law of 22nd June 1906. This official order stated that the official flag be the same as that of the civil ensign.

What Have Historical Versions of the Flag Looked Like?

Although the precise age of Sweden’s flag is not known, local folklore traces its earliest origins back to the 12th century during the time of the reign of King Eric IX. During the First Swedish Crusade in 1157 this monarch is said to have seen a golden cross set against a blue sky. In 1663 Sweden’s flag featured a triple tail design rather than its traditional square cut form.

This page was last modified on February 7th, 2018