BITS ‘N’ PIECES
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Amr (R.A):
A man asked the Prophet (S.A.W), “What sort of deeds or what qualities of Islam are good?” The Prophet replied, ‘To feed the poor and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not know.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 11
Although several countries lay claim to having the oldest flag, the flag of Denmark is widely considered to be the oldest existing flag in the world. Officially, the flag is known as Dannebrog and traces its history back to at least 1219. The flag is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest continuously used national flag. The current design of a white Scandinavian cross on a red background was adopted in 1625 and its square shape in 1748.
The Dannebrog is shown in a Gelre Armorial, compiled between 1370 and 1414 by Claes Heyenen who was a herald in the service of the Duke of Guelders. The book displays some 1,700 coats-of-arms from all over Europe, in color, and is one of the most important sources for medieval heraldry.
Denmark was never part of the Roman Empire, but similar designs were used by the Empire to represent provinces, as the white cross is symbolic of Christianity. The Scandinavian cross has its horizontal stripe slightly to the left-hand side of the square as you face it.
The flag was also certainly used in the naval battles during the war against Sweden in the 1560s, as shown in a watercolour in Rudolf Dewenter’s Bericht von Pulver und Feuerwerken from 1585. In his War Articles, promulgated on 8 May 1625, King Christian IV issued the first known regulations for flying the flag and Colours of Command in the Navy in Denmark.
It is often claimed that the Scottish Saltire can lay claim to a longer continuous use as a national flag. According to the Flag Institute, evidence for both the Saltire and the Dannebrog is fragmentary yet their vexillologists believe that the balance of evidence points to Denmark as being older.