Right before the start of the Advent season, we send warm regards and best wishes to all Faroese and to all our Faroese friends. 20 meters high above the ground and directly in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, today the Faroese flag floated in the wind. With the aid of an hydraulic working platform, we put Merkið in position for this picture – to show our affection for Faroe Islands. My husband Francesco and his business partners are currently preparing the big ceremony that goes with the illumination of Berlin’s most popular Christmas tree on Sunday. So we took the chance. Great view from above, I can tell you.
For those readers of my blog who are not Faroese, I would like to tell you more about the modern Faroese flag. It is an offset cross flag and called Merkið, which means „the banner" or „the mark". The flag was created 1919 by Jens Oliver Lisberg and others while they were studying in Copenhagen. The first time Merkið was raised in the Faroe Islands was on 22 June in Famjin, the home village of Mr. Lisberg, on the occasion of a wedding.
On 25 April 1940, the British occupation government approved the flag for use by Faroese vessels. Therefore, 25 April is still celebrated as Flaggdagur – a national holiday on Faroe Islands. With the Home Rule Act of 23 March 1948, finally the flag was recognized by the Danish Government as the national flag of the Faroe Islands. The original Merkið is displayed in the church of Famjin on the most southern Island Suðuroy.
Lots of Faroese have not only a Merkið at home but also a flagpole on their ground. They raise the flag to honor someone, to express their condolence in case of death or as a sign for celebrations. With our picture, we honor Faroe Islands. The place we love.