Valdemar Day

Valdemar (King) Day

June 15
According to legend, Danish King Valdemar II set out to conquer the pagan Estonians and convert them to Christianity. During the night of June 15, 1219, the Estonians made a surprise attack on the Danish camp. As he raised his arms toward heaven to pray for help, the Danish archbishop discovered that as long as he could hold his arms up, the Danes were able to push back the enemy. But when they dropped from weariness, the Estonians gained ground. Eventually a red banner with a white cross floated down from the sky and, as the archbishop caught it, he heard a voice from the clouds say that the Danes would win if they raised this banner before their enemies. A messenger took the banner to King Valdemar, and the Danes won the battle.
Schools, sports organizations, and Boy Scout troops in Denmark often hold pageants on June 15, also known as Flag Day, in which they reenact the story of the Dannebrog (the Danish flag) and King Valdemar. The red and white flag can be seen flying everywhere on this day in honor of its miraculous first appearance.
Embassy of Denmark
3200 Whitehaven St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-234-4300; fax: 202-328-1470
AnnivHol-2000, p. 101
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
'Since 1912, the Danes have celebrated Valdemar Day, and since 1920, it is also a memorial day for the reunification of South Jutland, or North Schleswig, which had been German,' said Ambassador Holmboe.