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The first regulation regarding the Splitflag dates from 27 March 1630, in which King Christian IV orders that Norwegian Defensionskibe (armed merchants ships) may only use the Splitflag if they are in Danish war service.In 1685 an order, distributed to a number of cities in Slesvig, states that all ships must carry the Danish flag, and in 1690 all merchant ships are forbidden to use the Splitflag, with the exception of ships sailing in the East Indies, West Indies and along the coast of Africa.Hans Svaning's History of King Hans from 1558–1559 and Johan Rantzau's History about the Last Dithmarschen War, from 1569, record the further fate of the Danish hoffuitbanner: According to this tradition, the original flag from the Battle of Lyndanisse was used in the small campaign of 1500 when King Hans tried to conquer Dithmarschen (in western Holstein in north Germany).The flag was lost in a devastating defeat at the Battle of Hemmingstedt on 17 February 1500.In 1559, King Frederik II recaptured it during his own Dithmarschen campaign.In 1576, the son of Johan Rantzau, Henrik Rantzau, also writes about the war and the fate of the flag.
In this version, the lions are holding a Dannebrog banner.
Several coins, seals and images exist, both foreign and domestic, from the 13th to 15th centuries and even earlier, showing heraldic designs similar to Dannebrog, alongside the royal coat of arms (three blue lions on a golden shield.) There is a record suggesting that the Danish army had a "chief banner" (hoffuitbanner) in the early 16th century.
Such a banner is mentioned in 1570 by Niels Hemmingsøn in the context of a 1520 battle between Danes and Swedes near Uppsala as nearly captured by the Swedes but saved by the heroic actions of the banner-carrier Mogens Gyldenstierne and Peder Skram.
Slesvig historian Ulrik Petersen (1656–1735) confirms the presence of such a banner in the cathedral in the early 17th century, and records that it had crumbled away by about 1660.
The size and shape of the civil ensign ("Koffardiflaget") for merchant ships is given in the regulation of 11 June 1748, which says: A red flag with a white cross with no split end. The proportions are thus: 3:1:3 vertically and 3:1:4.5 horizontally.