A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war in almost two centuries. Armed neutrality was preserved in both World Wars. The Swedish flag is based on the Danish Dannebrog (see Denmark), as are all flags of the Scandinavian nations with the exception of Greenland. The Swedish version was adopted in 1906, but a similar version was first recorded in pictures as far back as the 16th century.

It seems to have been adopted circa 1520 as the flag under which the Swedish nationals fought against their Danish oppressors after their fervour had been kindled by the massacre at Stockholm. Led by Gustavas, they quickly drove out the Danes, crowning their leader Gustavas Vasa in 1523. The colours are most probably taken from the national coat of arms, which contain 3 gold crowns on a blue field.



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