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From 1748 to 1814 Norwegian ships flew the Danish Dannebrog. In 1814, when Norway was united with Sweden, the Norwegians obtained the right to carry the Dannebrog with the canton charged with the Norwegian golden lion, crowned and holding an axe. Nevertheless, the struggle for a purely Norwegian flag continued and in 1821 the parliament adopted a new design, the Dannebrog with a dark blue cross positioned within the white one. The combination of red, white and blue followed the French revolutionary Tricolore as well as the flags of the United States and the United Kingdom, and was at that time regarded as a symbol of freedom. The cross was a common symbol of the national flags of Denmark and Sweden.