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Greek Flag – 1912 Thessaloniki

Greek Flag - 1912 Thessaloniki - War Museum of Thessaloniki by Joy of Museums

Greek Flag – 1912 Thessaloniki

This flag was the first Greek Flag raised in the city of Thessaloniki on the feast day of the city’s patron saint, Saint Demetrius, when the Greek Army accepted the surrender of the Ottoman garrison. The date was 8 November 1912 in today’s modern calendar, but 26th October in the old style or traditional calendar that Greece still used on the day of surrender.

When the First Balkan War broke out, Greece declared war on the Ottoman Empire and both Greece and Bulgaria raced to capture Thessaloniki. The Ottoman garrison of the city entered negotiations with both armies. The Bulgarian army arrived one day after the surrender of the city to Greece and Ottoman ruler of the city told the angry and upset Bulgarian officials that:

“I have only one Thessaloniki, which I have surrendered”. 

After the Second Balkan War, Thessaloniki and the rest of the Greek portion of Macedonia were officially annexed to Greece in 1913.

Adoption of the Gregorian Calendar

The adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in the modern history of most nations marked a change from their traditional dating system to the modern dating system that is widely used around the world today. Some countries adopted the new calendar from 1582, some did not do so until the early twentieth century.

Greece was the last country of Eastern Orthodox Europe to adopt the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes, with Wednesday 15 February 1923 being followed by Thursday 1 March 1923.

Did you know?

  • The cross on the Greek Flag symbolises Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
  • The blue and white of the Greek Flag symbolise the colours of the famed Greek sky and sea.
  • The nine stripes on the Greek Flag represent the nine syllables of the phrase “Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος” (“Freedom or Death”)


Greek Flag – 1912 Thessaloniki


“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day.
You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

– Epicurus


Photo Credit: JOM