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dpappas87

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I never really stopped to think about the history of the Greek flag and I want to share that knowledge with my kids. I need to figure out what it is first. I have this feeling the history is rich because I've seen different, older versions of the flag.

Could anyone shed some light on the following aspects:
  • Origins: When was the Greek flag officially adopted, and were there any significant events that led to its creation?
  • Symbolism: What do the colors and the cross represent? Are there any historical or cultural significance behind these elements?
  • Evolution: Has the flag undergone any changes throughout the years? If so, what prompted these changes?
  • Legends/Myths: Are there any interesting legends or anecdotes surrounding the inception or adoption of the flag?
Thanks!
 

Greek Independence Day History

Greek Independence Day is coming up! I thought I would share a bit that I know about the history. Please chime in with corrections or anything to add!
  1. The Spark of Revolution: Greek Independence Day marks the day in 1821 when the Greeks began their revolt against the Ottoman Empire, a state that had controlled Greece for nearly 400 years. This revolt was influenced by the surge of nationalism throughout Europe and inspired by the Enlightenment ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
  2. A Poet’s Declaration: The revolution officially began after Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the Greek flag at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Peloponnese, symbolizing the call to arms. However, it was rumored that the war of independence was actually declared a few days earlier by Alexandros Ypsilantis, a Greek national hero, in the Danubian Principalities.
  3. International Support: The Greek fight for independence was not just a local effort; it garnered substantial international support from prominent figures such as Lord Byron from Britain, who notably spent his own money and later died in Greece, contributing to the Greek cause. This international backing was crucial for the morale of the Greek fighters and helped in diplomatic efforts later on.
  4. The Battle of Navarino: A pivotal point in the Greek War of Independence was the Battle of Navarino in 1827, where the combined fleets of Britain, France, and Russia defeated the Ottoman and Egyptian fleets. This naval battle marked a significant turning point that led to the eventual independence of Greece.
  5. Recognition and Autonomy: Greek Independence was formally recognized in 1830 by the Treaty of London. However, full sovereignty and the delineation of the Greek borders were not achieved until later. It allowed the foundation of the modern Greek state, under the governance of King Otto from Bavaria.

History of the Greek flag?

I never really stopped to think about the history of the Greek flag and I want to share that knowledge with my kids. I need to figure out what it is first. I have this feeling the history is rich because I've seen different, older versions of the flag.

Could anyone shed some light on the following aspects:
  • Origins: When was the Greek flag officially adopted, and were there any significant events that led to its creation?
  • Symbolism: What do the colors and the cross represent? Are there any historical or cultural significance behind these elements?
  • Evolution: Has the flag undergone any changes throughout the years? If so, what prompted these changes?
  • Legends/Myths: Are there any interesting legends or anecdotes surrounding the inception or adoption of the flag?
Thanks!

Athens and the creation of democracy

I've been thinking about Athens and how it's the birth of democracy. I wondered if other societies had experimented with the concepts or if Athens was unique? Does anyone know? I know that there's been some evidence that other societies experimented with community leadership, but none had a true democracy like what Athens developed.

It was unique in developing a system where a significant portion of its inhabitants could participate directly in decision-making processes. This early form of democracy was largely initiated under the leadership of Cleisthenes in 508/507 BC. His reforms reorganized the population into ten tribes based on their residence rather than lineage, promoting a broader and more inclusive political engagement.

In this Athenian democracy, citizens had the right to attend the Assembly (Ekklesia), where they could speak and vote on legislation and executive decisions. The Council of Five Hundred (Boule), selected by lot for each of the ten tribes, proposed legislation and handled daily affairs. This lottery system for public office sought to prevent power monopolies and encourage civic participation.

I know that this work truly influenced other democratic governments through the world!

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts- I find this stuff interesting.

History of the tradition of decorating boats for Christmas

One of the most interesting Greek Christmas traditions to me is the one where people decorate boats. So, I started to research the history. Here's a bit of what I discovered:

The roots of the tradition of decorating boats in Greece for Christmas can be traced back to the country's longstanding ties with the sea. In Ancient Greece, people would often looked to the sea for both sustenance and inspiration, and it was not uncommon for ships to be adorned with religious symbols and decorations.

It also has ties to early Christianity in Greece. According to Greek Orthodox beliefs, Saint Nicolas (aka Santa Claus) was a sailor, and he is the patron saint of sailors. Decorating boats is often seen as a way to honor him.

Over time, this practice became associated with the Christmas season, and the boats began to be decorated specifically for the holiday.

People also make paper boats to decorate. Some call these the "yule boat" or karavaki. One of the most famous examples of this practice is the Yule boat, or karavaki.

The earliest known evidence of decorating boats for Christmas in Greece dates back to the 19th century. During this time, sailors would deck out their boats with lights and tiny boats. These tiny boats were often placed inside the larger boat, symbolizing protection from harm while at sea.

Does anyone have anything to add?

Learning about Greek Independence Day

March 25th marks a significant celebration in Greece, but I realize my knowledge on its historical context is quite limited.

From what I understand, this day commemorates the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821, where Greece sought to end several centuries of Ottoman rule. However, I'm eager to learn more about the intricacies of this period, the key figures involved, and how the struggle for independence unfolded over time.

Additionally, I'd be interested in understanding how this day is celebrated across Greece today and whether any particular traditions are tied to it. For example, are there specific ceremonies, parades, or family traditions that uniquely mark this day in Greek culture?


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