Greece is a country in Southeastern Europe, consisting of the southernmost part of the Balkan Peninsula and a large number of islands. These islands together make up about 20% of the land area. Greece is bordered to the north by Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. For the rest, mainland Greece is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea. The largest islands are Crete, Euboea (Evia), Lesbos and Rhodes.
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According to a popular story, the nine stripes on the Greek flag represent the nine syllables in the Greek phrase "Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος" (freedom or death), where the five blue stripes represent "freedom" and the four white ones represent "death." It is also said that the nine stripes symbolize all the letters in the word 'freedom' (Ελευθερία) or that the stripes represent the nine muses of Greek Mythology, the goddesses of art and civilization.