The Story Behind the First Greek Flag (Video)

The first Greek flag was made on the island of Skiathos at the Holy Monastery of Evangelistria in the year 1807. It was made on a loom and had a white cross woven across it against a light blue background.

The flag was first raised in on the island of Skiathos on September, 1807 after the Armatoloi from Olympus landed on the island’s shores with 70 cruisers following the completion of the Treaty of Tilsit between Russia and Turkey. They took down the Russian flag and raised the Greek flag.

Many of the well-known Greek fighters of the 1821 Revolution played a big role in how the first official Greek flag came to be created at Evangelistria. Prominent military leaders in the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829) against the Ottoman Empire, such as Theodoros Kolokotronis and Andreas Miaoulis would gather at Evangelistria. After a meeting between the revolutionary leaders at the Monestary, the monks decided to make the flag as a symbol of the faith and bravery of the Greek people.

The white cross represented the faith of the people and the light blue symbolized Greece, the Greek sea and the brave soldiers who would go on to fight to liberate Greece in the revolution for independence.

As the first ships that joined the revolution departed for the sea, the fighters took down the Russian flags on their ships and proudly raised the first Greek flag on their vessels as they set out to liberate Greece from the Ottomans.