It's Shetland Flag Day!

by Deborah Leggate -

Shetland Flag Day - 21st June

Da Hjalt: Nordic and Scottish heritage mingle in the Shetland flag

The blue flag with the white cross, which proudly flies over Shetland, tells the history of the transformation of nationality of these islands in the northernmost part of the United Kingdom.  Had the Danish king paid a wedding dowry to the Scottish king in 1469, the history and the flag of the islands would have been somewhat different.  The Shetland ensign, which combines the Danish and Scottish emblems and colours, is the sign of the self esteem and autonomy of the twenty two thousand people living in the North Sea.

Fishing as an industry is synonymous with the Shetland Islands, as oil and gas have become since the 1970's.  These natural resources gave the islanders their self esteem.  Many islanders fly their own blue and white flag to express their unique character.  They show allegiance to Scotland, as well as to their ancestors from Norway and Denmark.  Officially Shetland is part of the United Kingdom.  The official language is English and the people British but they feel strong connections with Scandinavia.