The Great Danish Protest Pig

Samuel Reason | August 2nd, 2018

In the 20th century, the Danes were not very happy. They lived under the rule of the Prussians, who prohibited all use of the Danish flag. They could not raise their flag and were forced to bow down to the Prussian authorities.

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But the Danes in Schleswig were unhappy with being repressed and decided to use biology as a tool to fight back. No, they did not develop a secret weapon, they made a whole new pig and they named it the Danish Protest Pig.

Schleswig-Holstein is actually now under German rule, it is a peaceful place of tranquility: wind farms and picturesque towns, the typical flat German countryside. During 1848 to 1851 the area was in complete turmoil: the First Schleswig War, here the Danes were victorious. But thirteen years later the Prussians won the second war and this annoyed all the Danes living there. So the Prussians set in place some stringent laws to try to keep the peace: one that banned all use of the Danish flag.

What could the Danes do? Well, they could ban their flags, but they could not ban their pigs! In the early 1900s, the first Danish Protest Pig showed up. It wasn’t exactly the flag of Denmark but it was close enough. The pig was reddish and had a white saddle area that intersected, like their flag.

No one actually really knows where this piggy came from, some pigs do have saddle markings covering their shoulders and upper back. But not that many have such a vivid change of pigmentation, from red to white. Historians believe the reddish breed comes from the British Tamworth pig, but nowadays the Danish Protest Pig is actually a registered rare breed. There really are not that many of them left!

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