In many ways, Denmark is a very progressive and forward-thinking nation, but it also has some strong ties to the past. For example, it is the oldest monarchy in Europe, and the royal lineage of its current ruler, Queen Margrethe II, dates back at least to the 10th century. Even the national flag, known as the Dannebrog, is centuries-old. A banner with a white cross on a red background has been used by Danish kings since the 14th century. And a popular origin legend says that the flag fell from the sky during the Battle of Lindanise in 1219, helping the Danes to victory. According to Guinness World Records, it is the oldest continuously-used national flag in the world. The current design was officially adopted in 1625 and its exact proportions for maritime use were set down in 1748.
The Great Danes:
- In 2018, Forbes ranked Denmark as the third-happiest country in the world, just behind Norway and Finland.
- Copenhagen, Denmark's capital, is the best city for swimming, according to CNN; it offers urban beaches and swimming in the harbor.
- Walt Disney drew some of the inspiration for his theme parks, Disney World and Disneyland, from Denmark's Tivoli Gardens.