Today is National Pig Day, so it’s a perfect time to tell one of the most famous stories of pig-based resistance in history: the story of Denmark’s Protestschwein, or protest pigs.

According to Mental Floss, this story starts in the 19th Century, when Denmark and Prussia were each trying to gain control a part of the Jutland peninsula.

By the mid 1860s, after several wars, Prussia controlled the area.

And to make sure there wasn’t another war down the road, they started to outlaw virtually any expression of Danish identity in the region.

Most importantly, they barred any displays of the Danish flag, which is red with a white Nordic cross.

The story goes that Danish farmers found an ingenious way around those laws.

They crossbred pigs so that they were mostly red with patches of white.

These pigs weren’t an exact match to the flag, but they were close enough that they became a symbol of Danish culture and a resistance to the Prussian rule.

Protest through pigs!

There are still a few of these pigs today.

But there’s no big dispute over the peninsula anymore, so there’s not a large demand for trolling Otto von Bismarck’s forces with pigs.

So they have a new name, Husum Red Pied, and a new purpose.

Mason’s World Encyclopedia of Livestock says the former Protestschwein is “a rugged pasture-type pig and is sometimes used to control vegetation in reed marshland.”

Starting today in Houston, Minnesota, it’s the International Festival of Owls.

There will be live owl programs, arts and crafts, an owl calling contest for kids, and a speaker from the World Owl Hall of Fame!

That’s a human speaker, by the way, not an owl.

The Ultimate Mudslinger: The Story Behind Denmark’s Protest Pigs (Mental Floss)

International Festival of Owls

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Photo by Axel Krampe via Wikicommons/Creative Commons