The current flag was only officially adopted by Greece on December 22, 1978. An earlier version of the Greek flag had a diagonal cross instead of the square one now used. This version of the flag dates back to 1822, just after Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821.
Meanings and Symbolism of the Greek Flag
The nine stripes are said to represent the number of syllables in the Greek phrase "Eleutheria H Thanatos", translated as "Freedom or Death!", a battle cry during the revolt against the Ottoman Occupation.
The equal-armed cross represents the Greek Orthodox church, the predominant religion of Greece.
The color blue represents the sea which is so important to Greece and also always been a color of protection, seen in the blue eye amulets used to ward off evil
The white represents the waves on the ocean, and white is seen as the color of purity.
Some say the nine stripes on the Greek flag represent the Nine Muses of Greek myth, and that the colors of blue and white represent Aphrodite rising up from the sea foam.
All about Greece
Location: It is a country located in southeastern Europe
Size: 131,990km 2 with 0.8669% of water
Currency: Euro (€)
Population: 11,257,285 (2009)
Time zone: EET (Athena, Greece is 6 hours ahead of Toronto, Ontario)
Type of Government: Parliamentary Republic
Labour force: The Greek labor force totals 4.9 million, and it is the second most industrious between OECD countries, after South korea.
The climate of Greece can be categorised into three types (the Mediterranean, the Alpine and the Temperate) that influence well-defined regions of its territory.
The Mediterranean type of climate features mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The Cyclades, the Dodecanese, Crete, Eastern Peloponessus and parts of the Sterea Ellada region are mostly affected by this particular type of climate.
The Alpine type is dominant mainly in the mountainous areas of Northwestern Greece (Epirus, Central Greece, Thessaly, Western Macedonia) as well as in the central parts of Peloponnese, including the prefectures of Achaia, Arcadia and parts of Laconia, where extensions of the Pindus mountain range pass by.
Temperate type affects Central Macedonia and East Macedonia and Thrace; it features cold, damp winters and hot, dry summers.
Athens is located in a transitional area featuring both the Mediterranean and the Temperate types.
Greece is poor with natural resources compare to its’ high economic value. Only 23% of the land is arable.
Greece has little black coal, and its lignite is of poor quality.
On the other hand, the country does have significant petroleum and natural gas deposits, located under the Aegean Sea, near the island of Thassos.
The deposits of bauxite and iron ore are rich in metal content, but the reserves of other commercially important minerals, such as chromium, nickel, copper, uranium, and magnesium, are relatively small.
Although the waters surrounding the country are inhabited by a large variety of fish, only a few species are plentiful
Member countries of the European Union have dominated international trade in Greece. Germany and Italy are Greece's main EU trading partners, with 25 and 11 percent of exports and 16 percent of imports each, respectively. Outside of the EU countries, the United States is Greece's largest trading partner, with 16 percent of exports and 11 percent of imports. Other significant partners include the United Kingdom, Central and Eastern European countries, and the former Soviet Union.
Telephones - main lines in use : 5,205,100 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular : 8,936,200 (2003)
Radio broadcast stations : AM 26, FM 88, shortwave 4 (1998)
Television broadcast stations : 36 (plus 1,341 low-power repeaters); also two stations in the US Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (1995)