After the "green wave" of the 1980s, many city dwellers moved to the countryside, hoping to return to nature.
However, many returned to urban areas after years of unfulfilled dreams.
The national anthem, "Der er et Yndigt Land" ("There Is a Lovely Land"), was written around 1820. Denmark is a constitutional monarchy and the oldest kingdom in Europe.
The name of the country means "Borderlands of the Danes" in reference to a political unit created during the sixth through ninth centuries.
This period was marked by a slow progression of sovereignty among the Danes, a people who originated in Skaane (today the southern part of Sweden) but eventually were based in Jutland.
Roughly eighty of its more than four hundred islands are inhabited.
Jutland, Zealand, and Funen (Fyn) are the largest and most densely populated regions.
Many Danes seem to have a strong national identification, although differences exist and a "Danish community" may be more imagined than real in regard to culture and traditions. Denmark once was considered an open and welcoming country to foreigners, but tensions between native residents and immigrants arose during the last decades of the twentieth century, culminating in the establishment of political parties whose platforms called for the exclusion of inhabitants of foreign ethnicity from social services and other forms of public support.
Immigrants of the second and third generations tend to be doubly socialized, displaying competence in Danish values in public and in the native language at home.
Danes use the flag at festive occasions, including birthdays, weddings, sports events, political meetings, and public holidays.
Hymns, songs, and ballads provide metaphors associated with Danish nationality, the mother tongue, school, history, and homeland.
The recent history of the nation features an outward-looking people focused on trade, welfare, equality, and democracy, which in Danish means "people's government" ( folkestyre ).
Fundamental values include a striving for freedom and equality, accomplished after battling for years with neighboring countries in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
According to myth, the national flag descended from the sky to the Danish army during a battle in Estonia in 1219 and was institutionalized as a national symbol in the seventeenth century.