Under occupation, Danish farmers were banned from raising their home country’s flag. In protest against the flag ban, farmers came up with an ingenious idea. The farmers would raise a new pig breed in protest.
Danish Protest Pig, officially called The Husum Red Pied, is a rare breed of domestic pig that originates from the Jutland Peninsula which is a territory of the German Republic today.
Danish protest pigs emerged in response to the Danish flag ban for Danes living in the Jutland Peninsula, under the rule of the Prussian Kingdom. Danish farmers were not allowed to display their flags, so they displayed their protest pigs.
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German state in Europe until the end of the First World War, after which it was replaced by the Free State of Prussia. The end of the second world war ultimately marked the end of Prussia altogether.
In the nineteenth century, the Prussian Kingdom was still neighboring the southern border of the Danish Kingdom through the Jutland Peninsula. Both governed by power-hungry monarchs, in 1848, Denmark and Prussia went to war, with Denmark winning claim to the Jutland Peninsula.
More than a decade after the Jutland Peninsula became a territory of Denmark, the land was up for grabs again as a follow-up war erupted between Denmark and Prussia. This time with Prussia declaring victory.
In the 1860s, Prussian authorities moved into the Jutland Peninsula, and over the next few decades enforced new laws hoping to suppress Danish identity.
Crossbreeding, and Artificial Selection
The Jutland Peninsula Danes caught on the wrong side of the border-dispute were especially upset by one of the new rules instated by the Prussian administration: Danes were not allowed to raise their flags.
Like most farmers, Danish farmers in the embattled region were no strangers to the domestication of animals, and plants. Subsequently, they came up with an ingenious idea to protest the suppression of their national identity.: They would create a new breed of pig that resembled their beloved Danish flag.
Over the decades, farmers’ crafty program of crossbreeding between multiple other pig breeds, and artificial selection slowly produced the pig breed that they had had in mind.
The breed of pig that the Danish farmers created had eventually become a symbol of the Jutland Peninsula Danes’ cultural identity. The pig remotely resembled the Danish flag, thanks to its red color, broad white vertical belt, and a trace of a white horizontal belt resembling the colors of the flag of Denmark.
Danish Protest Pig
Today, the Husum Red Piedis is, unfortunately, an endangered breed, with less than 200 Danish protest pigs remaining. On the bright side, the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein supports the preservation of the breed for its cultural value.