It was the early 1900s, and Danes in Schleswig, repressed under German rule, decided to use biology to fight back. No, they didn’t make a biological weapon. They made a pig. This is the Danish Protest Pig.

The state of Schleswig-Holstein is, today, under German rule. It’s a peaceful place, full of picturesque wind farms, picturesque towns, and picturesque, if flat, countryside. Once upon a time, the entire territory was in turmoil. From 1848 to 1851 it was the scene of the First Schleswig War, which established the territory as under the control of Denmark. Thirteen years later, the tables were turned. Germany won the Second Schleswig War, and took over the land. This, to say the least, irritated the Danes living there. They resisted the, as they saw it, occupation. The resistance resulted in more stringent laws, among which were the banning of the Danish flag.

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Danes fought back. Germans could ban their flags, but they could not ban their pigs. In the early 1900s, the Danish Protest Pig showed up. It wasn’t quite the flag of Denmark, but the red sections, intersected by a white “saddle,” were close enough. Danes would display their flags on pigs.

No one quite knows where the pig came from. Quite a few pigs have saddles, patches of odd-pigmentation covering their shoulders and upper back, but the red color of the Danish pigs probably comes from a deep red British breed called the Tamworth pig. The Danish Protest Pig is now a registered rare breed, and often displayed in zoos. And now we display it here.