On March 25, on the occasion of the Greek Independence Day Parade, the “new” Greek flags which fluttered in the wind in many Greek cities, appeared with only blue and white stripes, without the cross symbol of Christianity.
In the past few months, there have been reports in the Greek media that the European Union has been seriously discussing the possibility of abolishing religious symbols from six out of 27 EU countries that have the cross symbol on their flags: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Malta and Greece.
Established during the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, the colors of the Greek flag symbolize the sea that surrounds the country (blue) and the purity of the fighters’ cause (white). The cross proclaims the fledgling nation’s Christian faith in contrast to its Islamic rulers.The number of stripes is equal to the syllables of the Greek insurgents’ motto, “Liberty or death.”
The flag’s layout (stripes and a symbol on the upper left corner) is reminiscent of the American flag, a country whose success against the British inspired the Greeks, who claimed their own freedom not long after the Americans.