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Crete (Greece)


Last modified: 2019-10-26 by ivan sache
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Flag of Crete - Image by Klaus Michael Schneider, 18 May 2010

See also:

Flag of Crete

The flag of the Cretan Autonomous State, blue with a white cross and a red canton charged with a white star, is commonly used in Crete, though unofficially.
A blog article (in Greek, with photos and illustrations) explains the perception and recent use of this flag in Crete. The flag does not seem not to be tolerated by national authorities, being associated more or less with independantist or autonomist claims or other revendications; the flag is sometimes also used wrongly (for instance by an airway company). It seems that the flag is today being far from neutral and cannot be seen as a simple regional flag.

Pascal Vagnat, 2 August 2009

Municipalities in Crete

For administrative purposes, Crete is divided into four regional units (Chania, Heraklion, Lasíthi and Rethýmno) and 24 municipalities.

  • Chania

  • Apokoronas (Αποκορώνας)
  • Chania (Χανιά)
  • Gavdos (Γαύδος)
  • Kissamos (Κίσσαμος)
  • Platanias (Πλατανιάς)
  • Sfakia (Σφακιά)
  • Heraklion

  • Archanes-Asterousia (Αρχάνες-Αστερούσια)
  • Faistos (Φαιστός)
  • Gortyna (Γόρτυνα)
  • Heraklion (Ηράκλειο)
  • Hersonissos (Χερσόνησος)
  • Malevizi (Μαλεβίζι)
  • Minoa Pediada (Μινώα Πεδιάδα)
  • Viannos (Βιάννος)
  • Lasithi

  • Agios Nikolaos (Άγιος Νικόλαος)
  • Ierapetra (Ιεράπετρα)
  • Oropedio Lasithiou (Οροπέδιο Λασιθίου)
  • Sitia (Σητεία)
  • Rethymno

  • Agios Vasileios (Άγιος Βασίλειος)
  • Amari (Αμάρι)
  • Anogeia (Ανώγεια)
  • Mylopotamos (Μυλοπόταμος)
  • Rethymno (Ρέθυμνο)

Municipal units in Crete

This list is not a comprehensive list of municipal units (former municipalities) in Crete but only an index of those units for which information on their flag - or previous flag when a municipality - is available.

Cretan Autonomous State

The Cretan Aurtonomous State was created by the European Powers and came into being in December 1898, finally being dissolved and legally incorporated into Greece in December 1913. Its anomolous position as a semi-autonomous state within the Ottoman Empire was the result of a European imposed compromise intended, in part, to stop the island becoming the focus of a continuing conflict between Greece and the Ottoman Empire.
The first High Commissioner of the state was Prince George of Greece, who quit the job in 1906 and was replaced by a Greek politician.

Mick McTiernan, 29 July 2018

The union of Crete to Greece was proclaimed at a flag-raising ceremony in Chania, which is still ceremonially repeated every Sunday. The Naval Museum is located in the fort where the flag-raising occurred.
The Museum shows the flag of the Cretan Autonomous State as divided by a white cross. Three of the quarters are blue whereas the canton is red with a white star inside it. In a couple of pictures of the flag (for instance, one painted on a commemorative porcelain plate along with a portrait of the statesman Venizelos), the star is yellow and/or has one point (pointing towards the upper left corner) longer than the other points. This flag, as well as the Greek plain cross flag, appears on some locally-woven textiles, displayed in the museum, that depict Cretan soldiers and civilians parading with flags.

Bruce Tindall, 20 May 1995

The book Hellenic flags [k7k97] shows this flag for Autonomous Crete, 1898-1908.

Norman Martin, 16 June 1998

The old flag of Crete is shown in an image from a German cigarette card in The World of Flags [cra90]. The author notes that "[Crete and the Ionian Islands] are now integrated into Greece," implying that their flags are no longer in use.

Nick Pharris, 16 June 1998

The naval ensign of the Cretan Autonomous State (1898-1913) has blue and white stripes, like the Greek flag, but a white star on a red field in canton.

Phoevos Panagiotidis, 19 May 1998

War flags displayed in Chania Naval Museum

The following flags are displayed and described in the Naval Museum in Chania, which is located in the fort where the 1913 flag-raising occurred.

Gianni Statha's revolutionary fleet flag (1803).
A blue flag with a narrow white cross.

Demetrios M. Zoudianos' war standard (1897).
A white flag, in proportions c. 2:3, with a light blue Greek cross and three thin light blue horizontal stripes above, through, and under the cross. In the white stripes, on either side of the cross, is written, in blue "ΙΕΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙ / ΣΤΟΣ ΝΙΚΑ" ("Jesus-Christ victorious") / "Δ Ζ"; (the initials of the commander whose flag it was).
The book Hellenic flags [k7k97] shows a related flag, the flag of the Sipahis of Epirus in the Pindus mountains, as white with a Greek cross in blue charged with the figure of St. George and the dragon.

A flag from the independence struggle.
A white flag, slightly longer than tall, with blue squares in the corners; a blue Greek cross in the middle, its arms thinner than the modern Swiss cross. In the corners of the cross are the blue letters "Ι Χ Ν Κ", for "Jesus Christ Victorious", as above.
The book Hellenic flags [k7k97] shows a possible variant of this flag as Plapoutas' standard.

The flag of the Cretan Grenadiers.
A nearly square blue flag with a white cross (not couped). The arms of the cross are one-third the width of the flag. In the middle is written in blue:
"ΕΝΟΣΙΣ" (Union)
"Τ. Ε. Κ."

[Flag of Sitia District]

Flag of the Sitia District - Image by Klaus-Michael Schenider, 18 May 2010

The flag of the Sitia District is in approximate proportions 4:5, blue with a white cross. The approximate proportions of the horizontal stripes are 1:1:1 while those of the vertical stripes are 7:5:7. The horizontal arm of the cross is charged with the red writing "ΕΝΟΣΙΣ Η ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ" (Union or Death).

[Flag of Malevisi District]

Flag of the Malevisi District - Image by Klaus-Michael Schenider, 18 May 2010

The flag of the Malevisi District is in approximate proportions 12:13, light blue with a white cross. The approximate proportions of the horizontal stripes are 5:3:5 while those of the vertical stripes are 2:1:2.
In the middle of the cross is a picture of St. George slaying the dragon. In the lower left-hand corner is a white label that says (Translation by Stelios Kutrakis and Phoevos Panagiotidis):
"ΤΟ ΝΙΚΟΛΑΙΟ ΘΙΑΚΑΚΙ" (To Nikolaios Thiakakis)
"ΑΡΧΙΓΟ ΜΑΛΕΒΥΖΙΟΥ" (Warlord of Malevisi)
"Ο ΣΥΛΛΟΓΟΣ ΚΡΙΤΟΝ" (The Cretan Union)
"ΠΕΙΡΑΙΟΣ" (of Piraeus)
A golden fringe is partially kept on the border of the flag.

The revolutionary banner of Pompia village, Kainourion district (1881).
A multicolored icon-like picture of St. George and the dragon, with the following sentence written along the bottom (Translation by Stelios Kutrakis and Phoevos Panagiotidis):
"ΔΑΠΔΝΙ ΤΟΝ ΚΑΤΟΙΚΟΝ ΤΟΥ ΧΟΡΙΟΥ ΠΟΜΠΙΑ" (At the expense of the villagers of Pompia)

Bruce Tindall, Pascal Vagnat & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 18 May 2010

A monument near Chania (photo) honours Spyros Kayales because of a courageous act in 1897 (historical account). Spyros Kayales aka Kayaledakis, during the fight for Crete in 1897, took up the Greek flag after the flagpole had been shot away. In other words, he used his body for a flagpole in defiance of the Italians.
The flag represented on the monument is the inland version of the national flag (photo of the flag).

Jan Mertens, 10 June 2010

Flag of Harikleia Daskalaki (1866)


Flag of Harikleia Daskalaki - Image modified from [k7k97] by Eugene Ipavec, 10 December 2009

This flag is shown in the Greek National History Museum (photo). "Κ" end "Ε" stands for "Crete" and "Union", respectively. "Ε" and "Θ" stands for "Freedom or Death".

Nozomi Karyasu, 10 December 2009