The flag of Norway is red with an indigo blue Scandinavian cross outlined in white that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog, the flag of Denmark.
Fredrik Meltzer submitted his proposal just in time to be exhibited in parliament on 4 May 1821 together with a large number of other proposals. It was approved by both chambers during the following two weeks. Meltzer himself provided no written explanation of his choice of design and colours. However, his intentions may be inferred from an earlier letter of April 30 with his comments regarding the proposal from the flag committee. That design was divided quarterly red and white. Meltzer objected to the colours because they were too similar to those of the Danish flag. He added that it would be equally unseemly to choose the colours of any of "those states with which we have been or are connected". Instead, he recommended a tricolor of red, white and blue, "three colours that now denote freedom, such as we have seen in the French flag of freedom, and still see in that of the Dutch and Americans, and in the Union of the English".
His eventual choice a few days later of a Nordic cross was clearly based on the tradition established by the other Nordic countries, Denmark and Sweden. The red and blue colours also explicitly referred to the same two countries, former and present union partners. It was clearly understood by all who took part in the flag discussions locally, in the press or in parliament what those colours denoted. A predominantly red flag had many adherents among those who were attached to the union with Denmark or to its flag, which for centuries had also been that of Norway. Others, who saw Denmark as an oppressor, favoured the blue colour associated with the new Swedish dynasty. Consequently, most of the other flag proposals on the agenda had either red or blue as the predominant colour, depending on the political preferences of the proposers.