Flag of Finland

Flag of Finland
Country Finland
Population 5,545,475 (2023)
Area (Km²) 303,890 (2023)
Сontinent Europe
Emoji 🇫🇮
  hex rgb
#FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
#002F6C 0, 47, 108

The flag of Finland or "Siniristilippu" looks like a blue Scandinavian cross on a white background, which is where its name comes from, which means "Flag of the Blue Cross" in Finnish. The current design of the flag was approved on May 1, 1918, after Finland gained independence on December 6, 1917, and a competition was announced to create a national flag.

Meaning of the flag of Finland

  • blue color symbolizes the country's lakes and sky; 
  • white color symbolizes snow;
  • the cross symbolizes Christianity.

How many Finnish flags are there? 

Including the national flag, there are a total of 4 flags still in use:

  • The civilian flag was adopted on May 28, 1918, and consists of a blue Scandinavian cross on a white background;
  • The state flag looks identical to the civil flag, except that it has the coat of arms at the intersection of the two lines of the cross. The flag was adopted in 1978;
  • Military flag - the dovetailed national flag was adopted in the same year as the national flag;
  • Presidential standard - identical to the military flag, but with the Liberty Cross in the canton.

Flags of Finland

The Cross of Liberty(1) in the upper left corner symbolizes the Order of the Cross of Liberty(2), one of the three official state orders of Finland, along with the Order of the White Rose of Finland and the Order of the Lion of Finland. 

Symbols of the Presidential Standard of Finland

Three of the four flags use the Coat of Arms of Finland(3) - on a red field is a crowned lion, the right forepaw of which is replaced by an armored hand waving a sword and trampling a saber with its hind paws, the lion is crowned and armed, the arms and armor are decorated with gold, the blades and armor are silver, the field is strewn with nine silver roses.

History of the Finnish flag

In 1918, the idea of creating a blue and white flag was discussed in parliament. At first, when Finland became independent, a flag with a lion on a flagpole was used. But then it was decided to introduce a blue and white flag designed by artists Bruno Tuukkanen and Eero Snellman. Previously, there had been discussions about the colors of the Finnish flag, where blue and white were often considered the national colors. Prior to that, the national flag was a lion's paw, reflecting the red and golden yellow coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Finland. During the Swedish and Russian rule, the Swedish and Russian flags were used, respectively. In 1848, at a student ball, the song "Maamme" ("Our Country") was sung, and on this occasion the flag of the Student Union with the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy on a white background was raised. This prompted a debate about Finland's own flag, but it was not successful.

The Finnish flag, with its blue and white colors, is always noticeable and cannot be confused with other countries. Apart from Finland, most countries have a rectangular national flag. The use of flags has gradually spread since the 1700s, especially because of the French Revolution, which simplified their design. 

In the 1850s and 1860s, blue and white became the national colors of Finland. Although the flag issue was never discussed in parliament, various proposals were presented in newspapers. Some of the proposed national flags were used as yacht flags in the late 19th century, and soon blue and white became popular colors for sailing club flags and pennants. The lion flag was used during Finland's independence and was raised on the flagpole of the Senate and Council of State on December 6, 1917. For several months in 1917-18, the flag almost became the national flag. It was carmine silver in color with a golden yellow coat of arms lion in the center and a silver and white border and rosettes.