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by Jan Oskar Engene, 2 August 2000
The island's flag: yellow over green over red
Ole Andersen, 14 January 2000
I can confirm that the Ærø flag is widely used.
Marstal (on the Eastern tip of Ærø, flies a white high flag 2:1(?), with off-set 1/9th (?) of the height from each
fly-wise edge two blue lines of 10 waves, with an equally wide space between
them. On this 1/3 of the height : 2/9 of the width the Marstal shield (as
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 August 2001
According to the Danish Wikipedia (http://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86r%C3%B8),
the Ærø flag has been around since the first half of the 17th Century. Could
that be true, or might it just be a legend?
Elias Granqvist, 29 November 2006
Though the flag has not been in continuous use since the first half of the
17th Century, the current unofficial flag of Ærø actually does have a historical
model. When duke Christian of Ærø died on 14. June 1633 an inventory was made of
his estate. The surviving records tell us that among his possessions were a
banner, described as being almost square (2.75 by 2.83 meters) in the colours
golden yellow, sea green and life colour (red). Sources describe the banner as a
“landsfane”, or “the banner of the land”, but there is some debate whether this
means that the banner was the feudal banner (“lensfane”) of the Duke or a banner
representing the community of the island. However, archivist Erik Kroman points
out that when Duke Christian’s estate was divided following his death, unlike
most of the rest of his belongings which went to the Duke's brothers, the banner
was handed over to the island’s magistrate. This might be taken as a sign that
the banner was not that of the Duke, but rather that it represented the island.
This is the historical background for the resurrection of the yellow, green, and red flag as the flag of Ærø in our times. When exactly the flag was resurrected, I do not know. Kroman writes that it was not used in 1950 when the island celebrated having been united under the Danish crown for 200 years. Apparently Kroman only dug out the sources describing the banner from the archives some years later. Writing in 1976, however, Wielandt observed that the flag was to be seen everywhere on the island, mostly on sailing boats and cars.
Erik Kroman: "Ærøs gamle fane", Nordisk Flaggkontakt, No. 13, 1991, pp. 30-32.
Jørgen Juul Wielandt: "Ærøs landsflag", Nordisk Flagskrift, No. 2, 1976, pp. 9-11
Jan Oskar Engene, 2 December 2006