10 Finland Flag Symbolism, Meaning, History, Facts, and Trivia

Flag of Finland Symbolism Facts & Meaning: History & Trivia

Finland Flag History

Finland’s flag, referred to as the “Siniristilippu” in Finnish, roughly equates to “blue cross flag,” has a long history dating back to the late 1800s. Finland was ruled by Sweden, and without a national flag, they opted to display the Swedish flag until it acquired the title of Grand Duchy of Russia in 1809. The Finns were not able to establish their own flag until the era of Russian domination, which lasted until 1917. This flag had a blue and white Nordic cross pattern, similar to the Swedish flag but with the colors reversed.

Finland proclaimed independence from Russia in 1917, choosing the blue Nordic cross on a white background as its national flag to symbolize its beautiful surroundings, and it emerged as a widely accepted symbol.The blue Nordic cross flag was restored as the official national flag following the Finnish Civil War of 1918, although the Finnish Red Guards did use a red flag with a gold lion for a brief while.

Finland fought two wars—the Winter War and the Continuation War—against the Soviet Union during World War II. A temporary change was made to set the Finnish flag apart from the Soviet flag. A blue swastika was put in the middle of the Finnish flag. This change was made during the conflicts, but it was later taken out, restoring the flag to its original, historical form. In this respect, the national flag of Finland did not alter, and the nation displayed its EU membership in other ways, such as by flying the EU flag alongside the national flag at official EU events.

Finland First vs Present-Day Flag

In 1917, the year Finland declared its independence from Russia, it picked a national flag with a blue Nordic cross on a white background. The stunning beauty of Finland’s blue lakes and skies is portrayed in this design, which was greatly influenced by its surroundings. The blue cross extending to the flag’s edges exemplified the flag’s simplicity and beauty, producing a timeless and distinctive emblem of Finnish nationality.

Finland’s current flag serves as a symbol of its extensive cultural heritage and national identity. A blue Nordic cross is positioned against a white background on this flag, which hasn’t altered since it was first approved in 1917. The design pays respect to Finland’s lovely nature, emphasizing the country’s turquoise lakes and skies. Because it resonates with Finland’s history and core values, this flag has emerged as a lasting and well-known representation of that nation. It continues to be significant now and serves as a potent illustration of the spirit of the country.

Designer of Finland Flag

It is unknown who designed Finland’s first flag, which was approved in 1917 and quickly became an internationally recognized symbol of the country’s freedom when Finland achieved its independence from Russia. Consequently, it lacks a single identified designer.

It is also unknown who designed Finland’s current flag, which is substantially the same as the version from 1917. It has grown into a national emblem and is commonly recognized as Finland’s national flag. Instead of being linked to a particular designer, its design is centered on historical as well as cultural value, resulting in an image of the country as a whole.

Symbolic Meaning of Finland Flag Design

The design, colors, and figures on the Finnish flag have various metaphorical meanings:


  • A blue Nordic cross on a white backdrop brings about the Finnish flag’s design. Finland was originally a Lutheran country. Consequently, the cross design indicates Christianity. The Nordic cross’ vertical crossbar is angled to the hoist side, or the side facing left when the flag is hung vertically, giving the flag its characteristic appearance. The simplicity, elegance, and cohesiveness of this design represent the power and cohesion of the Finnish people.


  • Blue: The flag’s color blue is a symbol for Finland’s many lakes and other bodies of water, as well as the wide skies overhead. It stands for Finland’s environment, which is pure and beautiful in nature.
  • White: The white background represents the snowy landscapes of Finland, which are a prominent feature of the country, particularly during the long winter months.


  • The Cross: is a symbol of Christianity, Swedish rule, and Finnish freedom.
  • The Vertical Offset: The cross’ off-center placement improves the flag’s identification and represents Finland’s distinction among the Nordic nations. It highlights the uniqueness and distinction of the nation.

Finland Flag Symbolic Importance

The Finnish flag has tremendous significance for the country. By bringing together a heterogeneous population around a shared heritage, it represents Finland’s national identity. The flag, whose cultural significance dates to the fight for independence in 1917, serves as a poignant symbol of Finland’s sovereignty and its struggle for freedom. Its blue Nordic cross on a white backdrop represents cultural links and Lutheran traditions, while the blue and white hues represent the country’s natural beauty, particularly its plentiful lakes and snowy landscapes.

The colors represent characteristics, including flexibility and resilience, that are frequently connected to the Finnish people. The flag symbolizes Finland in worldwide events, inspiring a sense of nationalism among its residents, who enthusiastically fly it during national festivals and key occasions.

Finland Flag Raising Ceremony

The raising and lowering of the national flag is an everyday ceremony in Finland, taking place at sunrise and sunset. The ceremony’s time changes as the seasons change. On major national holidays, such as Independence Day, the flag is flown early in the morning and lowered later in the evening. The Finnish national hymn “Maamme,” which translates to “Our Land” in English and is also known by its Swedish name, “Vårt Land,” may be performed during these festivities in order to promote a sense of solidarity and pride among the populace. Upholding the nation’s identity and common heritage places a high value on these traditions.

On days of national sorrow, international tributes, and memorial days, the Finnish flag is lowered to half-mast to signify respect and remembrance. Usually, the Finnish President or the appropriate authorities make decisions.

Finland Flag Rules and Etiquette

Following these standards provides due respect and regard for the Finnish flag:

  • Display: Unless there is a special event, the flag should be flown from sunrise to sunset. In the summer, the flag should be flown at daybreak and lowered at sunset, but no later than 9:00 PM.
  • Respect and care: The flag must be treated respectfully, kept above the ground, and never desecrated or used for profit.
  • Proper Lighting: It should be lit up if flown at night.
  • Multiple Flags: When flown among other flags, it needs to be in a prominent place.
  • Public Occasions and Traditions: During formal occasions, federal holidays, Independence Day, the President’s birthday, and other pertinent times, the flag is flown atop public structures.
  • Private Residences: Citizens are permitted to display the flag, provided they observe the regulations.
  • Disposal: Flags that are worn out or damaged should be discarded and properly disposed of, perhaps by burning.

Traditional Finland Flag Display Customs

The Finnish flag also has certain customs and traditions:

  • National Flag Days: The national flag is customarily flown high on designated flag days, such as Finland’s Independence Day (December 6), Finnish Flag Day (June 4), and the royal family’s birthdays.
  • Customary Days for Display: On other notable national and cultural occasions, such as Midsummer’s Day (Juhannus), a prominent festival in Finland, and during other national sporting events, the Finnish flag is frequently flown.
  • Display at Sea: Boats and ships can display the Finnish flag. It is at the stern when docked and at the masthead when at sea.
  • Community Flagpoles: In certain small towns, it is customary for neighbors to alternately raise and lower the flag on a communal flagpole, frequently on a set timetable.

Finland Flag Trivia

The Unofficial Flag Day: In addition to the official Flag Day, June 4th is also observed as the unofficial Flag Day in honor of the Finnish poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg. It is customary to fly the flag on this day and eat Runeberg pastries, a specialty of Finland.

Finland Flag in Legends and Mythology

The Finnish flag’s mythology describes the nation’s centuries-long battle for freedom from Swedish and Russian control. It states that the flag’s blue color symbolizes the tears the Finnish people suffered throughout this period. The story goes that as they cried, the lakes and the sea became blue, signifying the Finnish people’s tenacity and will in their fight for freedom.

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