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Northern Frisia flag (since 1844) (Denmark)

Last modified: 2014-10-04 by zoltán horváth
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[Flag for Northern Frisia] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 July 2009

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The Northern Frisian flag

The oldest flag of Northern Frisia was hoisted on 10 June 1844 on a local festival in Bredstedt. According to source the coat of arms doesnít match heraldic rules. A former coat of arms for whole Northern Frisia didnít exist, because the region always was divided between their neighbours. There are traces, that this coat of arms was created by the Frisian front man Reverend Christian Feddersen (1786-1844) or a member of his circles. His motto was: "Love to your own people must coincide with love to all mankind." The half double eagle is taken from the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire and is symbolizing the privileges, which have said being granted by the German Emperors in the early middle ages. The crown is symbolizing the King of Denmark, who had been sovereign of the whole region until 1864. The pot of grits is symbolizing the brotherliness, for which Feddersen fought. Also the motto "Lewer duad üs Slav!" has been reducted to ideas of Feddersen. In his book "Fünf Worte an die Nordfriesen" (Engl.: Five words to the Northern Frisians), published in 1845, but already written in 1842, he claims: "Be no manís slave, at first not your own slave, i.e. slave of your own cravings!" In the eve of the first Schleswig-Holstein war(1848) on Bredstedt festival this motto was also considered to be a statement against Denmark, so was the half double eagle.


I also talked to the owner of the flag, I spotted. She told me, that the pot was considered being the pot of curly kale, in which fisherman Pidder Lüng killed the representative of the Danish king, who made the attempt to collect the taxes, the people of Sylt didnít pay with respect to their privileges. The Dane became impatient, spit into the pot and was for this insult killed by the fisherman immediately, the latter crying out "Lewwer duad üs Slaav!". Having lost their leader the Danish soldiers committed a massacre killing all the people in the village. This story is told in the ballad of Pidder Lüng, by German poet Detlev von Liliencron (1844-1909). He inserted a 2nd "w" to mark a short vowel and a 2nd "a" to mark a long vowel in the motto to fit German pronunciation. But the motto has many regional differences. The first lines of the ballad are written in Frisian language:
"Frii es de Feskfang,
Frii es de Jaght,
Frii es de Strönthgang,
Frii es de Naght,
Frii es de See, de wilde See
En de Hörnemmer Rhee."
In English:
"For free is fishing,
for free is hunting,
for free is beachwalking (to pick up goods of stranded ships??),
for free is the night,
for free is the sea, the furious sea
at the roadstead (German: Reede) of Hörnum (a small municipality at the southernmost horn of Sylt Island)."

The complete text can be found e.g. at:

Source: I spotted this flag on 19 July 2009 in HH-Moorfleeth

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 July 2009

Note that this flag is also shown on our German pages. According to the regional differences, both versions of the motto may be right.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 July 2009