No image of Switzerland is complete without the national coat of arms. In contrast to other national emblems and flags, the white cross on a red background symbolises more than just a country. The Swiss cross stands for "Swissness". Read more about its history and symbolic power.
Until the 19th century, the confederate states had no common flag. Soldiers on campaign carried the banners of their cantons. Since the Battle of Laupen in 1339, combatants attached white crosses to their clothing and armour as a field mark for identification. In 1815 a Federal Agreement formally established the Swiss cross as the coat of arms for all states in the Confederation; in 1889 the white cross in a red field was specified as the national flag. The exact dimensions were formally laid down for the flag: The arms of the cross are to be one sixth longer than they are wide and the distance to the edge of the flag is to be equal on all sides. In imitation of the battalion flags to which the first Swiss crosses were sewn, the Swiss national flag was also designed to be square rather than rectangular as are most other national flags. The white cross on a red field symbolizes Christendom and stands for neutrality, democracy, peace and protection.
The Swiss cross also has a symbolic marketing value and has become one of the most familiar brands in the world. It stands for "Swissness", an attitude to life and a promise of quality. The elegant red and white coat of arms borne by Swiss products inspires a high level of credibility and trust. The Swiss cross is a symbol for success and quality. People all over the world associate this symbol with the values of elegance, exclusivity, innovation, reliability and respect for the environment. The uninterrupted boom of the Swiss brand in the new century is probably also due to the current trend towards a return to tradition and ethnic identity; a longing for dependability in an uncertain world; and the search for sustainable values and concepts.