Southern Swedish region Skåne’s flag gets official status

Southern Swedish region Skåne's flag gets official status
The red and gold flag. Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/Svd/SCANPIX/TT
The flag of Skåne in southwestern Sweden has been made an official symbol of the region – despite resistance from several quarters.

The flag is red with a gold cross and has been used for centuries. But until now, it hasn’t been allowed to fly alongside the Swedish flag for official purposes, because the regional version didn’t have official status.

Now Skåne's regional council has decided that the flag should be recognized as an official symbol, after approving a proposal from regional chairperson Henrik Fritzon, who said the design was the oldest regional flag in Sweden and was popular among local residents.

All parties apart from the Left Party voted in favour of the decision.

READ ALSO: Five reasons we love Skåne (and why you should too)

Sara Svensson, regional group leader for the Left Party, described the proposal as “protectionist” and “very sad” on her blog.

Svensson said that her party saw “no reason at all to force or encourage the Skåne region to strengthen the national romantic proposal about flags” and called for more focus on welfare issues instead.

Sweden's State Herald, Henrik Klackenberg – the officer responsible for heraldry, which includes flags as well as coats of arms – had objected to the move, on the grounds that the colours are already used by Uppsala, and the similarity to the party flag of Norwegian fascist regime Nasjonal Samling (National Unity) between 1933 and 1945.

A red and gold Nordic cross flag is also used in Finland to represent Swedish-speaking Finns.

READ ALSO: 17 dialect words you'll need to know to survive in southern Sweden