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Modern use

As a civil ensign The Danish flag at the medal ceremony for the men's team pursuit at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The size and shape of the civil ensign ("Koffardiflaget") for merchant ships is given in the regulation of June 11, 1748, which says: A red flag with a white cross with no split end. The white cross must be 1/7 of the flags height. The two first fields must be square in form and the two outer fields must be 6/4 lengths of those. The proportions are thus: 3:1:3 vertically and 3:1:4.5 horizontally. This definition are the absolute proportions for the Danish national flag to this day, for both the civil version of the flag ("Stutflaget"), as well as the merchant flag ("Handelsflaget"). Both flags are identical. A somewhat curious regulation came in 1758 concerning Danish ships sailing in the Mediterranean. These had to carry the King's cypher logo in the center of the flag, to distinguish them from Maltese ships, due to the similarity of the flag of the Order of St. John (also known as the Knights Hospitaller). To the best of knowledge, this regulation has never been revoked, however it is probably no longer done. According to the regulation of June 11, 1748 the colour was simply red, which is common known today as "Dannebrog rod" ("Dannebrog red"). The only available red fabric dye in 1748 was made of madder root, which can be processed to produce a brilliant red dye (used historically for

ritish soldiers' jackets). The private company, Dansk Standard, regulation number 359 of 2005, defines the red colour of the flag as Pantone 186c. No official nuance definition of "Dannebrog rod" exists. During the next about 150 years nobody paid much attention to actually abide fully to the proportions of the flag given in the 1748 regulation, not even the government. As late as 1892 it was stated in a series of regulations that the correct lengths of the two last fields in the flag were 6/4. Some interested in the matter made inquires into the issue and concluded that the 6/4 length would make the flag look blunt. Any new flag would also quickly become unlawful, due to wear and tear. They also noted that the flag currently used had lengths, of the last two fields, anywhere between 7/4 to 13/6. So in May 1893 a new regulation to all chiefs of police, stated that the police should not intervene, if the two last fields in the flag were longer than 6/4 as long as these did not exceed 7/4, and provided that this was the only rule violated. This regulation is still in effect today and thus the legal proportions of the National flag is today anywhere between 3:1:3 width / 3:1:4.5 length and 3:1:3 width / 3:1:5.25 length. That some confusion still exists in this matter can be seen from the regulation of May 4, 1927, which once again states that Danish merchant ships have to fly flags according to the regulation of 1748.