In May 2013 the representatives of the annual Kalmar conference in Lincoln, Anglia voted unanimously to adopt a new flag to represent the union. It had been increasingly felt that the old flag, adopted in the mid 15th century reflected a time when the Union was dominated by Denmark and no longer represented its world-wide reach and membership.
A competition was set in August 2012 to find a replacement, attracting hundreds of designs but eventually a winner, designed by Fredrik Brakel, was chosen.
This new flag carries a gold Scandinavian cross as a nod to the old Kalmar flag. Dark Blue was chosen for the field as this colour is not used by any of the member states in their own national flags. The 20 stars represent the 19 sovereign member states plus the combined colonies of Australia.
Whereas the old flag was flown very occasionally, apart from on naval vessels, the new version is to be constantly flown next to national flags on certain governmental buildings.
It has been tentatively assumed that the number of stars will increase if the Union atracts new members.