Flag of Norway: the mother of all flags

NorwayNorway’s flag is by no means the oldest in the world, though having been designed in 1821 by MP Fredrik Meltzer (1779-1855), it is older than most.

With proportions of 8:11 it certainly isn’t the largest. It isn’t unique in design either since all of Scandinavia (except Greenland) uses the iconic Nordic Cross. Red, white and blue is a colour combination dominated by the flags of the United States and United Kingdom to name only two.

Unlike the flags of several British Overseas Territories, none of Norway’s three overseas territories (Bouvet Island, Queen Maud Land and Peter I Island) have Norway’s flag in their canton (top left corner) because they don’t even have their own flag.

So why is Norway’s flag The mother of all flags?

Well, if you type ‘mother of all flags’ into Google Images you’ll see many images of Norway’s flag with several other national flags marked out within it.

Norway (Mother)

These flags are: Indonesia, Poland, Malta GC, Finland, France, Netherlands and Thailand. Serbia & Montenegro is also there if you look at an old enough version – it would be directly underneath the Dutch flag on the image above.

Also bear in mind that the Dutch flag is very similar to Luxembourg’s (and if you remove their coat of arms: Croatia and Paraguay) and Monaco’s is almost identical to Indonesia’s. In total that’s a minimum of nine current national flags which can be found within Norway’s.

Alex Crouch is a 2014 journalism graduate from Southampton Solent University. He has followed Formula One since before he started infant school, was a Games Maker during the London Paralympics and saw Pink Floyd reunite for one song at The O2 in London. Links: Twitter, blog, YouTube. Alex is an accredited Flag Institute journalist.


9 Responses to Flag of Norway: the mother of all flags

  1. hum 26 August 2015 at 10:53 am #

    I love flags very much as well man but this article… I mean who cares.. 😯 😯

    • Karl-Erlend 16 January 2016 at 9:48 am #

      I do

    • Robert 27 April 2017 at 12:30 am #

      .. and I. nice job.

  2. Yui 8 February 2018 at 8:31 pm #

    … and I. great job

  3. Do you really need to know 21 February 2018 at 2:47 am #

    I think that there could have been more detail about the flag in the paragraph.

  4. james 2 March 2018 at 6:04 pm #

    you forgot monaco

    • Magdalena Perez 30 April 2019 at 12:05 am #

      He didn’t if you actually read the article you would know.

  5. VIENEY 6 May 2019 at 8:28 am #

    you forgot malta too

  6. Johan 6 November 2019 at 11:01 am #

    The Dutch flag is older, so is that of France (inspired by the Dutch flag) if the flag of Norway is indeed designed in 1821 and used afterwards. Despite your fancy title of accredited Flag Institute journalist, I recommend to do a bit more research before making these claims.