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Merkið - The First Faroese Flag | by Eileen Sandá
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Merkið - The First Faroese Flag

The first Faroese flag, which was made in 1919 by a Faroese student from Fámjin, Jens Oliver Lisberg, along with two other Faroese students, is hanging in the church of Fámjin.

Fámjin is a village in Suðuroy in the Faroe Islands, the population is ca. 100. The church of Fámjin was built in 1876.


I got a very long comment from "Lisbonvisitor", it was so long that I choose to delete it, but I have copied a part of it into this description, because it is a description of the Faroese flag and the Faroese national hymn, and I find it suitable to put it here just below the picture of the prototype of the Faroese flag.


Description Flag:

The flag of the Faroe Islands is an offset cross, following as with other Nordic flags the tradition set by the Dannebrog. The flag is called Merkið which means "the banner" or "the mark".

On 25 April 1940 the British occupation government approved the flag for use by Faroese vessels. April 25 is still celebrated as Flaggdagur.

With the Home Rule Act of 23 March 1948 the flag was finally recognized by the Danish Government as the national flag of the Faroes.

It is interesting to note that the flag design is contrary to the heraldry and vexillology rule that red colour cannot be placed on top of the blue colour.

The flag carries the name Merkid, meaning the sign or banner. The dominant white colour is said to represent the pure sky as well as the foam of the waves breaking against the coasts of the islands, red and blue are both colours found in traditional Faroese headdress. At the same time the colours are those of the flags of Norway and Iceland.


National Anthem: Tú alfagra land mítt




Mítt Alfagra land

Tú alfagra land mítt, mín dýrasta ogn!

á vetri so randhvítt, á sumri við logn,

tú tekur meg at tær so tætt í tín favn.

Tit oyggjar so mætar, Guð signi tað navn,

sum menn tykkum góvu, tá teir tykkum sóu.

Ja, Guð signi Føroyar, mítt land!


Hin roðin, sum skínur á sumri í líð,

hin ódnin, sum týnir mangt lív vetrartíð,

og myrkrið, sum fjalir mær bjartasta mál,

og ljósið, sum spælir mær sigur í sál:

alt streingir, ið tóna, sum vága og vóna,

at eg verji Føroyar, mítt land.


Eg nígi tí niður í bøn til tín, Guð:

Hin heilagi friður mær falli í lut!

Lat sál mína tváa sær í tíni dýrd!

So torir hon vága - av Gudi væl skírd -

at bera tað merkið, sum eyðkennir verkið,

ið varðveitir Føroyar, mítt land!




My land, oh most beauteous, possession most dear,

Thou drawest me to thee, embracing me near;

becalmed in the summer, in winter snow covered,

magnificent islands, by God named beloved.

The name which men gave thee when they thee discovered,

Oh, God bless thee, Faroes my land.


Bright gleam, which in summer makes hill-tops so fair;

rough gale, which in winter drives men to despair;

oh life taking storm, oh conquest of soul,

all making sweet music uniting the whole.

Each hoping and trusting, inspiring us all,

To guard thee, O Faroes my land.


And therefore, I kneel down, to Thee God, in prayer,

may peaceful my lot be, and do thou me spare,

my soul cleansed; in glory; I ask Thee to bless,

when I raise my banner and venture the stress.

The sign of my task, be it lifted on high,

To guard thee, O Faroes my land.

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Taken on March 25, 2009