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Ingebjørg - 1318 (Norway)

Last modified: 2021-08-25 by christopher oehler
Keywords: ingebjørg | norway |
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In Vlaggen van de wereld, w2n11a?, it says the first depiction known of the flag of Norway, as it was at that time (?), is on a seal of the Duchess of Ingebjørg, from 1318. Not only do I suspect her to be Duchess Ingebjørg of Something instead, but on the depicted seal she carries two flags. Dexter a flag with a lion rampant carrying an upright axe, which apparently matches the Norwegian arms of the time, but sinister she has a lion rampant on a field with three barulets. Was this the banner of arms of Something at the time?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 15 December 2011

This must refer to Ingeborg, Duchess of Södermanland, Halland and Estonia, Regent of Norway and Sweden. Her seal can be seen here. I don't know if the sinister flag is supposed to represent Sweden, and thus the seal was showing the two kingdoms over which she was regent; or if the sinister flag was Sodermanland, etc., and thus the flags were representing her father's and her husband's domains. But at least this may be a starting point for finding an answer.
Ned Smith, 15 December 2011

It so happens that this seal was used in an exposition, and by contacting them, I eventually got a reply from the Norwegian National Archive, where they tell me the other flag is for the House of Bjelbo, who were the rulers of Sweden, Norway at that time, and whose blood is said to have run through the veins of all Kings and Queens of Denmark, Norway and Sweden since.
As it happens, the arms of the House of Bjelbo share with the Frisian flags the Blue and White stripes and the Red lily leaves, though they are depicted more heart-shaped in Scandinavia, and shares with the Frisian arms the Golden lion on Blue. So, there's little doubt for me that we're seeing a blue flag with three white descending diagonals with over all a golden lion rampant.
I was going to do a quick cut and paste job on our depiction of the earliest-known flag of Norway. But unfortunately, I can't find it. Do we not have the flag the Duchess holds in her left hand? (Anyone who can do ancient lions?)
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg
, 10 April 2012