Flag throwing is a magnificent spectacle and one of the most revered featuresof folk festivals in Switzerland. Flag throwers perform to the accompaniment of traditional alphorn blowing or bugles at folkloric events like Alpine carnivals or yodelling and Schwingen festivals or Swiss National Day festivities on August 1.It is hard to believe the famous white cross on a square red background has been the national flag of Switzerland only since the 19th century. The origins of the flag, however, go back to the historic Battle of Laupen in 1339 when Confederate soldiers began using the white cross as their insignia. Over time, the cantons added a small white cross to their standards. Eventually, the cross became the military ensign of the Old Swiss Confederacy and could be seen flying above their newly occupied territories. The old Bernese flag probably inspired the choice of red as the background colour.