Fingerprints of the tribe of Dan on the flag of Denmark

by Mikkel S. Kragh

The flag of Denmark is in Danish called Dannebrog, or the “cloth of Dan”. It contains several clues which connects the modern Danes to the ancient Israelite tribe of Dan. Historians have proved that the flag of Denmark was in use in the 14th cen. They have not proved that it was used in the 13th cen. But that does, of course, not mean that it was not in use at that time.

Clue #1: Oldest flag still in use

The first clue is that the flag of Denmark is the world's oldest national flag still in use, since the 13th century.

The Biblical parallel to this is the fact that the name of Dan is the first of the 12 patriarchs to be mentioned in the Bible, despite the fact that Dan was only Jacob's 5th son. His birth is recorded in Genesis chap. 30, but the first place we meet the name of Dan is in Genesis chap. 14, in connection with Abraham (Abram) when he is rescuing his nephew Lot:

And when Abram heard that his brother [Lot] was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.” (Gen 14:14)

Abraham was Dan's great grandfather, and at the time of this event Isaac, Dan's grandfather, had not yet even been born. And yet the name of Dan is there. Obviously a former name was originally there, but some scribe must have changed it into “Dan” to make the readers of the books of Moses aware of which place the text was referring to. But this was ultimately not the decision of a scribe. God placed the name of Dan in Gen 14:14 for a reason.

Clue #2: Origin of the flag

The second clue is the origin of the flag of Denmark.

According to the myth, Dannebrog fell down from heaven during a crusade led by King Valdemar II the Victorious of Denmark in Estonia on June 15, 1219 to convert the pagan Estonians to Christianity. A more realistic version of this story is that it was a flag of the Knights Hospitaller, who were a part of the crusade, which somehow got hurled up into the air and landed close to the Danish king.

The Knights Hospitaller, a.k.a. the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, or the Knights of St John, were one of the famous crusader orders. Their flag is red with a white cross. This flag became the basis for the flag of Denmark.

When the crusaders escorted pilgrims to and from the Holy Land, the Knights Templars would go in front, because they were considered the strongest crusader order. The Knights of St John would go behind the pilgrims to protect them from attacks in the rear, because they were considered the second strongest crusader order. The Knights of St John were from its very inception founded as an hospital order to take medical care of injured and dying pilgrims and crusaders. They were knights with weapons and armor as well, because they would get attacked if they were not able to defend themselves.

The Biblical parallel to this is when Israel wandered in the wilderness after the Exodus. During the wandering in the wilderness, the 12 tribes were divided into 4 camps which were arranged around the Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle, Moses and the Levites in the middle. When Israel moved from one place to another, the first camp to move and to go in front was the Camp of Judah. The last camp to move and to go in the back was the Camp of Dan:

In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies... And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan set forward, which was the rereward of all the camps throughout their hosts” (Num 10:14, 25)

According to Yair Davidiy, an ultra-orthodox Jewish author of numerous books on the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel, this was because Judah was considered the strongest tribe in battle and Dan was considered the second strongest. He quotes Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra (1089-1164) who lived in Muslim-occupied Spain:

The Commentator Rabbi Abraham Iben Ezra opined that Dan and Judah were the greatest warrior tribes. That is why when they marched forward Judah was in the front and Dan in the rear (Iben Ezra Numbers 1:19). Their task was to take the brunt of the battle and to protect the rest of Israel.” (Davidiy: Dan Will Redeem!)

Clue #3: The name Dan in the place of the battle

The third clue is the name of place of the battle where the flag of Denmark originated.

The place in Estonia where the battle took place was called Lyndanisse, where we again see the name of Dan. After the Danish victory a castle was built which was called the Danes's Castle, or Castrum Danorum in Latin. The Estonians called the town Taani-linna (literally: “Dane-castle”), and today it is called Tallinn and is the capital of Estonia.

The Biblical parallel to this is the fact that in the Old Testament Dan seems to have had an obsession with naming places after their forefather Dan:

And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.” (Joshua 19:47)

And they [600 armed Danites] went up, and pitched in Kirjath-jearim, in Judah: wherefore they called that place Mahaneh-dan unto this day: behold, it is behind Kirjath-jearim.” (Judges 18:12)

And they [600 armed Danites] called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.” (Judges 18:29)

Clue #4: Danish flag inspiration of other Nordic flags

The fourth clue is how the flag of Denmark has inspired the flags of the other Nordic nations.

The difference between the flag of the Knights of St John and the flag of Denmark is that the cross in the flag of the Knights of St John is exactly in the middle of the red background, both in the length and in the height. On the Danish flag, the cross is in the middle in the height, but in the length the middle of the cross is closer to the hoist. This kind of cross is known as a Nordic cross, Scandinavian cross or the Cross of St Philip.

The flag of Denmark became the basis of the flags of the other Scandinavian and Nordic nations. All of the Nordic flags are based on the same ratios as the flag of Denmark, in the so-called Nordic Cross. The first was the flag of Sweden (early 16th cen.), and later the flags of Norway (1821), the Swedish-Danish province Scania (1870s), Finland (1918), the Faroe Islands (1940), Iceland (1944), the Finnish-Swedish Aaland Islands (1954), and even the flags of the Shetland Islands (2005) and the Orkney Islands (2007). The latter two were originally settled by Norwegians, but are now a part of the United Kingdom.

The Biblical parallel to this is again found in Israel's wanderings in the wilderness. The Camp of Dan consisted of the tribes of Dan, Asher and Naphtali, but the leader of the Camp was the tribe of Dan.

We associate Denmark primarily with Dan, Norway primarily with Naphtali and Sweden primarily with Asher and Gad.


These clues which connect the flag of Denmark with the Israelite tribe of Dan are in themselves not proof that the modern nation of Denmark is descended from the Israelite tribe of Dan. But along with other identifications from history, archaeology, Bible prophecy, heraldry, national characteristics, etc., it is one more piece of circumstantial evidence that the Danes of the Kingdom of Denmark are descendants of the Israelite tribe of Dan.

June 15, 2023


Yair Davidiy: Dan Will Redeem!!.html