Winners don't wait for chances

Historic use

Caspar Paludan-Muller The Danish historian Caspar Paludan-Muller in 1873 in his book "Sagnet om den himmelfaldne Danebrogsfane" put forth the theory that it is a banner sent by the Pope to the Danish King to use in his crusades in the Baltic countries. Other kings and lords certainly received such banners. One would imagine, though, that if this story were true, some kind of record ought to exist of the event, and presumably Danish historians would not have failed to mention it in some way. Being granted a banner by the Pope would have been a great honour, but despite the many letters of the popes relating to the crusades, none of them mentions granting a banner to a King of Denmark. On the other hand, the letter in question might simply have been lost. [edit]Johan Stockel A similar theory was suggested by Danish explorer, adventurer and Captain Johan Stockel in the early 20th century. He suggested that it was not a papal banner to the King but a papal banner to the Churchly legate in the North, more specifically to archbishop Andreas Suneson, which he without the knowledge of the King brought with him on the King's crusade in the Baltic countries, in an effort to make the army take on a Christian symbol (over the king's symbol) and thereby strengthen the power of the church. It is unlikely that the very fair and loyal archbishop would do such a thing behind the king's back. Moreover, it is unlikely that the pope would send such a banner, given the fact that they already had one, nam ly the banner of the Knights Hospitaller (Danish: "Johanitterne"). [edit]Adolf Ditlev Jorgensen A theory brought forth by the Danish historian Adolf Ditlev Jorgensen in 1875 in his book "Danebroges Oprindelse" is that the Danish flag is the banner of the Knights Hospitaller. He notes that the order came to Denmark in the latter half of the 12th century and during the next centuries spread to major cities, like Odense, Viborg, Horsens, Ribe and their headquarters in Slagelse, so by the time of the Baltic crusade, the symbol was already a known symbol in Denmark. Furthermore he claims that Bishop Theoderich, already co-initiator of the Livonian Brothers of the Sword in Livonia, had the idea of starting a similar order in Estonia; and that he was the original instigator of the inquiry from Bishop Albert of Buxhoeveden to King Valdemar II in 1218, that set the whole Danish participation in the Baltic crusades in motion. In the contemporary writing of the priest Henry of Livonia from Riga it is said that Bishop Theoderich was killed during the 1219 battle, when the enemy stormed his tent, thinking it was the King's tent. Adolf Ditlev Jorgensen explains that it was Bishop Theoderich who carried the flag, planted outside his tent; thus as an already well-known symbol of the Knights Hospitaller in Livonia, the enemy thought this was the King's symbol and mistakenly stormed Bishop Theoderich tent. He claims that the origin of the legend of the falling flag comes from this confusion in the battle.