Alfred V. Jensen: ‘Dannebrog hejses på flaghøjen ved Dybbøl Mølle’ (‘Dannebrog is raised on the flag mound at Dybbøl Mill’). (Painted 1921)

Dannebrog is hoisted at Dybbøl Hill. On 11 July 1920, before the reunification festivities at the Dybbøl Redoubts, a tall flagpole was erected on Dybbøl Hill near Dybbøl Mill. It was the tallest flagpole in Denmark. Special permission was given to fly the Danish Splitflag (swallow-tailed flag) here, and Danish-Americans in Chicago donated a large Dannebrog in silk to fly at this place of symbols and memories. This painting immortalises the raising of the flag on 11 July 1921, the anniversary of the reunification festivities in the King’s Redoubt. The painting was done from a photograph.

 

Peter Wilhardt: ‘Danske soldater marcherer forbi Dybbøl Mølle 5. maj 1920’ (‘Danish soldiers march past Dybbøl Mill 5 May 1920’). (Painted 1921)

Danish soldiers at Dybbøl Hill. Reunification was effectuated gradually over several months. One  very special day indeed was 5 May, when Danish troops moved into Zone 1 to replace the French and British troops. The extensive German naval base in Sønderborg was converted into a barracks for Danish infantry. Immediately after their arrival, the soldiers marched from here over to Dybbøl Hill to lay wreaths at the common graves of Danish soldiers. This was the first time Danish soldiers had been at Dybbøl since 1864. Many people accompanied the march, and the painting shows a veteran of 1864 deeply moved by this event.

 

Alfred V. Jensen: Christian 10.s Ridt over den gamle Grænse ved Taps ind i Sønderjylland den 10. juli 1920. (Christian X’s ride over the old border at Taps into Southern Jutland on 10 July 1920′). (Painted 1920-23)

The King on his white horse. This picture shows one of the most formal and heavily symbolic events of with the reunification festivities. The King had agreed to fulfil the old prophecy that Southern Jutland would become Danish again on the day the Danish King came riding over the border on a white horse.

There was no white horse in the royal stables, but there was one at Visborggård Manor near Hadsund. This horse, which bore the name ‘Malgré Tout’, was transported to Taps just north of Christiansfeld. Here the King got out of his car, mounted the horse, and rode the first kilometre into Southern Jutland on his milk-white steed to the joyous acclaim of the assembled throng. A memorial stone has been placed at the spot where the King mounted the horse.

Afterwards, no one else was allowed to ride the white horse, and it grazed in green pastures until its death in 1922. Like the steed of an ancient chieftain, the horse interred in a high burial mound at Visborggård Manor. On a stone the following text is inscribed: ‘The King over the border I proudly bore, when Southern Jutland became Danish once more’.

Before the burial, one of the horse’s hooves was cut off and silver-plated. It was presented to Christian X as a memento of the great day and stands to this day on the desk in Christian X’s office  at Amalienborg. It bears the same text as the memorial stone on the horse’s grave.

The horse’s name, ‘Malgré Tout’, means ‘Despite Everything’, and many contemporaries interpreted the name as an expression of the fact that all ended well for Southern Jutland – despite everything.

 

 

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