The three-tailed flag
Since 1873, the royal flag has been raised on the roof of the Royal Palace. The three-tailed flag which flies here is reserved for the Royal Court and the Swedish Armed Forces. The flag of the Royal Court has the national coat of arms at the centre of the cross, but its appearance and size depend on the weather and the current regent.
It is normally flown in the form of the medium-sized flag, which measures 360x180 centimetres and features the greater national coat of arms at the centre of the yellow cross. When the medium-sized flag is raised at the Royal Palace, this means that The King is able to fulfil his duties as Head of State.
If The King is prevented from doing so, for example during state visits abroad, The Crown Princess steps in as temporary regent. On these occasions, a three-tailed flag featuring the lesser national coat of arms flies instead. However, the size is the same as the medium-sized flag.
On national flag days, on royal birthdays, in connection with incoming state visits and when The King receives new foreign ambassadors at the palace, a larger flag – the extra large flag – is raised. This measures 540x270 centimetres, and features the greater national coat of arms at the centre of the yellow cross.
Another flag is also used: the storm flag, which – as its name suggests – is raised in the event of strong winds. This smaller flag measures 180x90 centimetres.
The tradition of flying flags at the Royal Palace began in the year when King Oskar II was crowned. As successor to the Swedish throne, he had flown the flag at his summer residence of Sofiero, and subsequently also at the Riksdag building and other official buildings. In 1873, The King decreed that the flag should be flown at the Royal Palace.
The medium-sized flag is raised at the Royal Palace. Poto: Kaffegruppen/Royalpalaces.se