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Vessels sailing under the Norway Country Flag are required to have on board this flag as part of flag state requirements that derive from maritime regulations in the International Code of Signals and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. These codes are published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as an ongoing effort to reinforce maritime safety procedures and communications to the international maritime community. Fleet management companies and ship owners are responsible to ensure that each vessel in their respective fleets have the appropriate flag signage onboard to be in compliance. This flag is used to identify the flag state a vessel is sailing under and to communicate with other vessels under the provisions of the International Code of Signals.
The Norway Country Flag is represented by a red background. A deep blue traditional Scandinavian cross rests in the center of the flag, it's main body stretching the entire length and the arms stretching the entire width. The cross is outlined in white and it's arms are offset halfway from center toward the hoist, or left side. The Norway Country Flag is designated to hold an unusual proportional ratio of 8:11, height to length, respectively. The Flag was officially adopted in 1821, making it one of the world's most historic national symbols. The cross is meant to represent Christianity, the predominant religion in the region. The Flag is directly copied from the Danish flag of 1821, having simply added a blue cross inside the Danish white cross. This was intended to pay tribute to the previous association between Norway and Denmark and represent Norway's new union with Sweden. Norway removed an emblem marking the association from the flag before the turn of the century, and the union with Sweden was officially ended in 1905, following a public vote.
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