The First Flag

Ever wonder, while hoisting your flag up the flagpole, what the oldest flag in the world is?

I did, but it’s kind of a difficult question to answer. In fact, vexillology (the study of flags) scholars have debated the question for years in search of a definitive answer, but cannot agree on the country with the oldest flag. There are apparently too many issues clouding the debate, such as whether or not we are talking about state flags or country flags or sovereign realm flags. The debate is made even more difficult by deciding on to which historical authority evidence may be based.

Denmark has long claimed to have the oldest flag. Their claim is as old as 800 years dating back to 1219 A.D., when the Danneborg flag flew for the first time, though it did not become the official Danish National Flag until 1625 A.D.
Scotland also has a claim to the oldest flag arguing that a sovereign flag first flew over the realm in 732 A.D.
Wales also, though viewed as a principality by some authorities, claims the oldest sovereign flag, dating the “dragon flag” back to 655 A.D. – 830 A.D., tying it to tales of King ArthurAncient flag. Other authorities trace the “dragon flag” back to Roman legions who brought the symbol with them to foreign lands, while other authorities attribute the symbol’s origin to the Druids.
Whoever introduced it, the Dragon Flag was officially recognized as the flag of Wales in 1485 A.D.
All of these examples may seem quite old, but it’s also known that around 3400 B.C. Egyptians were known to carry emblematic banners into battle which represented various sovereign empires. And that various provinces of ancient China were also identified by flags around 1500 B.C.
Though, probably not on shiny flagpoles, flags have been representing organized people since the beginning of written history, but it doesn’t look as though anybody will ever know who was officially first.

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