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Flag of Finland

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The Flag Of Finland

The design of the current Finnish flag was inspired by the flags of Denmark and Sweden. It is white with a blue cross that spreads to the edge. The cross is a common symbol found on Scandinavian flags. It represents Finland's heritage link with other countries that are Scandinavian. The blue represents the many lakes found all over Finland. The white represents the snow that covers the entire country during winter.

History of the Finnish Flag

There have been different Finland flags. Finland was occupied by Russia from 1899 to 1917. The first Finnish flag adopted after this time was based on Finland's coat of arms. It was adopted in 1918. The people of Finland wanted a flag of their own. The current flag used by Finland was adopted on May 26, 1978.

Current Finland Flag Design

A yacht club in Helsinki called Nyländska Jaktklubben was the first to use the blue-crossed flag. It was similar to flags used by other Yacht Clubs. It was a flag that was officially used for private Finnish vessels in 1861. During Russian occupation, a Russian flag was added to Finnish flags. The majority of Finns would not fly the flag. After its independence, Finland held a contest to choose the design of the official Finnish flag. There were many submissions, but Bruno Tuukkanen, and fellow artist Eero Snellman determined the final flag design.

The flag of Finland, also called Siniristilippu ("Blue Cross Flag"), dates from the beginning of the 20th century. It features a blue Nordic cross on a white background. The state flag has a coat of arms in the centre, but is otherwise identical to the civil flag. The swallow-tailed state flag is used by the military. The presidential standard is identical to the swallow-tailed state flag but also has in its upper left corner the Cross of Liberty after the Order of the Cross of Liberty, which has the President of Finland as its Grand Master. Like Sweden's, Finland's national flag is based on the Scandinavian cross. It was adopted after independence from Russia, when many patriotic Finns wanted a special flag for their country, but its design dates back to the 19th century. The blue coloring is said to represent the country's thousands of lakes and the sky, with white for the snow that covers the land in winter. This color combination has also been used over the centuries in various Finnish provincial, military, and town flags.

  • Capital of Finland: Helsinki
  • Area of Finland: 304,473 sq. km
  • Languages used in Finland: Finnish (official), Swedish (official)
  • Religions in Finland: Lutheran National Church, Greek Orthodox in Finland, other Christian

Proper Flag Use

Finnish flags have traditionally been used three different ways. Finland flags can be used by its citizens, organizations as well as government agencies. The national flag can be flown by any citizen when it is determined to be suitable. It can also be flown by the two national churches and also the Finnish defense forces.

Independence Day in Finland

When the flag of Finland is it flown, it is raised at 8 am and then lowered at sunset. Should sunset extend beyond 9 pm, the flag will still be lowered at 9 pm. On Finland's independence day, the Finnish flag is flown until 8 pm no matter if it is dark or not. 

National Tragedies

Should there be a terrible national tragedy within Finland, its ministry of interior is permitted to suggest the flag be flown at half mast throughout the entire country.

Special Customs

It is customary for the flag of Finland to be flown during Midsummer starting at 6 pm on Midsummer Eve and not taken down until 9 pm Midsummer day. This is done as a symbol that the darkness that does not cover any part of Finland during Midsummer.