Modern Greek Flag

Modern Greece

The national flag of Greece, popularly referred to as the "sky-blue - white" or the "blue-white" (Greek: Γαλανόλευκη or Κυανόλευκη), officially recognised by Greece as one of its national symbols, is based on nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white. There is a blue canton in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white cross; the cross symbolises Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the established religion of the Greek people of Greece and Cyprus. The blazon of the flag is Azure, four bars Argent; on a canton of the field a Greek cross throughout of the second. The official flag ratio is 2:3. The shade of blue used in the flag has varied throughout its history, from light blue to dark blue, the latter being increasingly used since the late 1960s. It was officially adopted by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus on 13 January 1822. According to popular tradition, the nine stripes represent the nine syllables of the phrase "Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος" ("Freedom or Death"), the five blue stripes for the syllables "Ελευθερία" and the four white stripes "ή Θάνατος". The nine stripes are also said to represent the letters of the word "freedom" (Greek: ελευθερία). There is also a different theory, that the nine stripes symbolise the nine Muses, the goddesses of art and civilisation (nine has traditionally been one of the numbers of reference for the Greeks). Blue and white have been interpreted as symbolising the colours of the famed Greek sky and sea.



"I Galanolefki" (The Blue and White), "I Kyanolefki" (The Azure and White)


National flag and ensign

Proportion - 2:3

Adopted: 22 December 1978 (Naval Ensign 1822-1978, National Flag 1969-70; 1978 to date)

Design/Format: Nine horizontal stripes, in turn blue and white; a white cross on a blue square field in canton.


The use of the Greek flag is regulated by Law 851. More specifically, the law states that:


CRW Flags
Encyclopaedia Brittanica