Tag Archives: freedom

The Quotable Greek: Learn to Sail in High Winds

25 Mar

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest.

We must learn to sail in high winds.”

~Aristotle Onassis


The Quotable Greek: A Person Needs a Little Madness

18 Mar

“A person needs a little madness,

or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.”

~Nikos Kazantzakis


Is the Greek Flag More Prominently Displayed than Other Country Flags in the US?

5 Apr

Since we’ve been chatting about how the revolutionary flag was raised at Agia Lavra, I thought it would only be appropriate for us to talk next about the Greek flag itself.

When I was a kid, there used to be a house in Paramus that had a giant Greek flag painted on its garage.  Greeks love to show off their flag.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen another country flag so readily displayed in America.  I’ve seen the United States flag, the Confederate flag, and the flag of California (mainly on t-shirts), but I’ve rarely seen a non-US flag in America as often as I’ve seen the Greek flag.  We like our flag.

But how many of us actually know the meaning behind the Greek flag?

Galanolefki, “blue-white,” is the name of Greece’s flag.  Although no documents exist that explicitly state the reason for the chosen colors, most people agree that the blue is for the color of the Mediterranean Sea and the white is the waves.  Some have also suggested the blue and white are for the Greek sky.

In the upper left of the Greek flag is a white Greek cross on a blue background.  The Greek cross, also known as crux immissa quadrata, is perfectly parallel: all four arms are equal length.  Kind of like the symbol of the Red Cross.  The cross is, of course, representative of Greece’s Greek Orthodox faith.

In addition to the cross, the Greek flag hosts nine alternating blue and white horizontal stripes.  The top and the bottom stripes are both blue.

Remember how the Greeks shouted “Ελευθερία ή θάνατος” at the start of the revolution?  Well, popular theory has it that the nine stripes of the flag correspond to the nine symbols of the phrase: ” E-lef-the-ri-a i Tha-na-tos.”

Another theory is that the nine stripes stand for the nine letters in “Έλευθερία,” the Greek word for “freedom.”

It’s really quite beautiful when you understand the significance of each part of the Greek flag.

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Ever wonder what it would be like to design your own flag??