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Why are flags flying in Denmark today?

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Why are flags flying in Denmark today?
Denmark's Flag Day for soldiers stationed abroad is marked in Viborg in 2017. Photo: Preben Madsen/Midtjyske Medier/Ritzau Scanpix
11:28 CEST+02:00
It’s not a public holiday, Constitution Day or the Queen’s birthday, but Denmark’s flag is flying from public buildings and buses across the country.

Dannebrog, as the Danish flag is known, is flown on September 5th to honour the country’s soldiers and others who are stationed abroad, or have been in the past.

Veterans’ Flag Day was introduced in 2009 as a way of acknowledging the contribution of Danish troops in international military operations since 1948.

Ten years ago, Danish soldiers were active as peace keepers in Afghanistan, notably the volatile Helmand province, where a number of casualties and deaths were sustained.

Although that played a key part in the decision to officially mark their contribution, the national flag day remains just as relevant today, according to Minister of Defence Trine Bramsen.

“We still send soldiers on missions around the world and as long as we are still doing that, we need to show our respect for those stationed abroad,” Bramsen told broadcaster DR.

“It is so important and tribute should really be paid to those who put our values of freedoms before themselves and serve abroad,” the minister added.

Danish military personnel currently serving abroad are involved in operations in the Arctic, training local military in Iraq, and providing protection in Afghan capital Kabul.

Flag Day will also be marked with parades and the laying of wreaths in memory of the fallen, including at the Monument at Kastellet, a historic military barracks in Copenhagen.

69 Danish soldiers have lost their lives in combat since 1992, according to Danish Military figures.

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