This flag is really good because it’s simple and tells a great story. Palanga lies on the Baltic seashore of Lithuania and is the center of the Baltic amber industry. Lithuania was the last European country to convert to Christianity, and the vast majority of Lithuanians are Roman Catholic, which allows for an amount of syncretism. Elements of pre-Christian folklore remain just below the surface, such as in this flag.
This flag recounts the myth of Jūratė and Kastytis. Jūratė was a goddess and queen of the sea who lived in a castle made of amber. Kastytis was a fisherman who was catching too many fish and disrupting Jūratė’s realm. She had him captured, but before she could punish him, they fell in love. Kastytis came to live in the amber castle, and all was well until thunder god Perkunas caught wind of the taboo relationship between goddess and mortal. He sent a lightning bolt and destroyed the amber castle, killing Kastytis. He chained Jūratė to the ruins and left her to mourn eternally. The amber that washes up on Lithuania’s beaches after storms is said to be bits of Jūratė’s castle.
The crown on this flag is Jūratė’s, though it might be mistaken for Marge Simpson’s, the necklace is made of amber beads, and the blue background represents the sea. Simple, meaningful and tells a 1,000-year-old tale of forbiden love. Hard to beat.