Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Nordic Council

The Flag of The Nordic Council

The Nordic Council was set up in order to create a common labour market, and freedom of movement for its peoples to travel without the need for passports. The Council was set up in 1952. 

In the 1960's, the Nordic Council looked to develop along the lines of the EEC, however, Finland did not ratify the treaty that would have created the new Nordek organisation due to its relationship with the Soviet Union at the time. 

In 1973, Denmark and Norway went to enter the EEC. Denmark eventually entered, only for Norway to reject it through a referendum. Sweden and Finland later joined to join, with Norway remaining out, again after the idea being voted down in another referendum. Iceland has begun to take steps to get ready for entry into the EU with popularity rising. 

The Nordic Council has since lost some of its impact due to significant overlap with areas that the EU operates in, though is still a valued forum for Nordic nations. It is used for co-operation on many areas, such as education, culture, the environment, legislation, and the economy. 

The Nordic Council currently consists of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland. Also, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Aland Islands are associated members. The Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have also stated an interest in joining the Nordic Council

The flag of the Council is a simple white banner with a blue disc. On the blue disc is a stylised white swan, with 8 white wing feathers standing for the current eight members. The flag was created by the Finnish artist, Kyosti Varis, in 1984

The full members of the council all use flags that originate from the Scandinavian Cross, first seen in the Danish flag.

An unofficial banner is the old Flag of the Kalmar Union. The only time that all of Scandinavia was united within one federation.

The banner for the Kalmar Union was inspired by the Danish flag, and used a red cross on a yellow field.

Out of all the members of the Nordic Council, the only nation to not use a Nordic Cross, is Greenland, with its rising sun flag. Everyone else uses a flag based on the Nordic Cross, with different colour combinations.

Member States

Denmark                  Faroe Islands
Finland                  Greenland
Iceland                   Norway
Sweden                 Aland Islands

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