The current national flag of Greece was adopted on December 22, 1978. The flag contains nine blue and white strips and a blue canton with a white cross. The white cross on the canton is said to symbolize Greek Orthodoxy, the religion of the Greek people. The nine strips represent the nine syllables in the phrase “Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος” (Freedom or Death) and also the nine muses, the Greek goddesses of art and civilization. The colors are said to stand for the Greek sky and sea.