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Continuation of the romantic legend

According to tradition, the original flag from the Battle of Lyndanisse was used in the small campaign of 1500 when King Hans tried to conquer Dithmarschen (in western Holstein in north Germany). The flag was lost in a devastating defeat at the Battle of Hemmingstedt on 17 February 1500. In 1559, King Frederik II recaptured it during his own Dithmarschen campaign. In the capitulation terms it is stated that all Danish banners lost in 1500 were to be returned. One of Hans Knieper’s heroic tapestries of Danish kings from 1585. King Erik Menved storming a castle. Note the two Danish flags. Original located at Kronborg Castle. This legend is found in two sources, Hans Svaning's History of King Hans from 1558–1559 and Johan Rantzau's History about the Last Dithmarschen War, from 1569. Both claim that this was the original flag, and consequently both writers knew the legend of the falling flag. In 1576, the son of Johan Rantzau, Henrik Rantzau, also writes about the war and the fate of the flag. He notes that the flag was in a poor condition when returned. Sources from Dithmarschen, written shortly after the battle of 1500, do mention banners, including the Royal banner, being captured from the Danes, but there is no mention of Dannebrog or the "original" flag. It is quite plausible that the king’s personal banner as well as the leading banner of the army were both lost, as the battle was led by the King himself. However, it is more questionable if he indeed was carrying the "original" flag. In a letter dated 22 February 1500 to Oluf Stigson, King John describes the battle, but does not mentio the loss of an important flag. In fact, the entire letter gives the impression that the lost battle was nothing more than an "unfortunate affair". An indication that we are dealing with multiple flags, are the 1570 writings of Niels Hemmingson regarding a bloody battle between Danes and Swedes near the Swedish town of Uppsala in 1520. He writes that the "Danish head banner" ("Danmarckis Hoffuitbanner") was nearly captured by the Swedes. It was saved only by the combined efforts of the banner-carrier Mogens Gyldenstierne, taking multiple wounds, and a young man coming to his rescue. This young man was Peder Skram. This "Danmarckis Hoffuitbanner" was probably nothing short of the "Banner of the Realm'" (Rigsbanner), the Dannebrog. This is however not the end of the story. A priest and historian from Dithmarschen, Neocorus, wrote in 1598 that the banner captured in 1500, was brought to the church in Wohrden and hung there for the next 59 years, until it was returned to the Danes as part of the peace settlement in 1559. Henrik Rantzau states in his writing of 1576 that the flag was brought to Slesvig city and placed in the cathedral, following its return. A historian from Slesvig, Ulrik Petersen (1656–1735), wrote in the late 17th century that the flag hung in Slesvig cathedral till about 1660 until it simply crumbled away, thus ending its more than 400-year-old story. Historically, it is of course impossible to prove or disprove that these records speak of the same flag, or if the flag of 1208 or 1219 ever existed. Many of these legends are apparently built on earlier ones. [edit]Historic use