The common device of all the flags used in the war for independence in 1821 white cross, the symbol of Christian faith. When in 1822 the Greek government adopted flags for the Army, and merchant and war ensigns, all of them displayed the same Greek cross. The flag of the Navy, and the later flag used on land, was a blue square with a white cross. The war ensign, in use until 1833, was the same design as the present national flag. The nine stripes represent the nine syllables of the war cry of independence, Eleutheria i Thanatos ("Freedom or Death") The blue stands for the pure Greek sky, and recalls that God inspired the Greek people to fight for independence in spite of all odds. The white symbolizes the purity and sacred character of the struggle for liberation from Turkish tyranny.


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