Flag of Sweden
|Design||A blue field with a yellow Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side. |
According to legend, the 12th-century King Eric IX saw a golden cross in the sky as he landed in Finland during the First Swedish Crusade in 1157. Seeing this as a sign from God he adopted the golden cross against a blue background as his banner, though the golden cross was changed later to a yellow cross due to practicality. The problem with the mythology is partly the fact that there are no contemporary sources about the crusade and partly because there are no pictures or descriptions of the flag until the middle of the 16th century.
It has also been suggested that the Swedish flag might have been a resistance flag against the Danish flag, which is red with a white cross and has a mythological origin in 1219, but are not depicted until the late 14th century. According to this theory, the Swedish flag was created during the reign of King Charles VIII, who also introduced the coat of arms of Sweden in 1442. The national coat of arms is a combination of King Albert's coat of arms of 1364 and King Magnus III's coat of arms of 1275, and is blue divided quarterly by a golden cross pattée. Other historians claim that the Swedish flag was blue with a white cross before 1420, and became blue with a golden cross only during the early reign King Gustav I, who deposed King Christian II in 1521. 
The Scandinavian cross represents Christianity. The design and colors of the Swedish flag are believed to have been inspired by the present Coat of arms of Sweden of 1442, which is blue divided quarterly by a cross pattée of gold, and modeled on the Danish flag. Blue and yellow have been used as Swedish colors at least since King Magnus III's royal coat of arms of 1275.