Thursday, May 10, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 38

 The raising of the Norwegian flag at Bergen 10 am on the 9th of June 1905.

Norwegian Constitution Day is May 17th so I thought I would share this postcard.  This occasion marks the first time the flag for the newly independent country of Norway was flown in Bergen.  Christian Michelsen is pictured in the inset.  He was a shipping tycoon from Bergen who became the leader of the coalition government in March 1905.  Another statesman, Jørgen Løvland, comes from Evje og Hornnes, Aust Agder, Norway and I do have biographical information about him that I will post separately. 

From the 1400s to 1814 Norway was under the Danish crown and from 1814 to 1905 it was under the Swedish crown.  The year 1905 marks the separation from Sweden.  At the Karlstad Conference the two countries were separated without coming to blows and without the loss of life.  That stands as a shining light of Swedish and Norwegian history – indeed for the entire world.

Belle Homsher recalled a little song that was popular in Bergen in 1905 about Michelsen.  She sang it for me and I transcribed it as it sounded so it may not be exactly right.  If anyone has heard it and is familiar with the words, please let me know so I can make any corrections. 

“I nitten hundre og fem
var Svenska nok så slem
hvem der var Kristian Michelsen som tam’d dem
Du ma høyliget for mannen
Du ma høyliget for mannen
Du ma høyliget for mannen
Som si her og her”

I think it says something like this in English--

“In nineteen hundred and five
Sweden some say was so bad
It was Kristian Michelsen who tamed them
You must give honor to the man
You must give honor to the man
You must give honor to the man
Some say here and here”

Christian Michelsen and Jørgen Løvland at the conference table, Karlstad, Sweden, 1905

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