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Saturday, April 25, 2009

FAROE FRIDAY: FLAG DAY

Ok, so it's not Friday anymore, but Saturday the 25th is Flag Day on the Faroe Islands, and that's reason enough to have a Faroe themed post.


From what I've learned on the internet, the Faroese flag, the Merkið, was created by some Faroese students studying in Denmark in the early 1900s. Flag Day celebrates the moment in 1940 when British authorities took to the BBC to ask Faroese ships to fly the Merkið rather than the flag of Denmark. Denmark was occupied by the Nazis at the time, but the Faroes were not.


From then on, the Merkið has been the official flag of the Faroe Islands. The original is housed in a church on the Faroes.

The photo at the top of this post comes from a collection by Arne List. It shows the Merkið flying near the village of Tvøroyri on the southern island of Sudroy. As nice as the flag is, it does obscure the village a bit in that photo (indeed, that is what makes the picture so cool). But you may want a clearer view of the town, so we'll also provide this:


The church you see was constructed as a building set in Norway, then taken apart, shipped, to the island, and reassembled in 1907. The previous church that stood on that spot was moved to another village (stories like this are not uncommon on the Faroes). Tvøroyri has a population of about 1,100 people, which makes it one of the larger villages on the Faroes.

So to the people of Tvøroyri and everyone else on the Faroe Islands, happy Flag Day.

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