Finland’s Flag Turns 100

The familiar blue and white cross helped with nation building for the young country one hundred years ago.

File picture of waving Finnish flag, with Helsinki in the background / Credit: iStock

The flags are quite literally flying today, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Finnish flag.

The familiar blue and white cross design was first approved by parliament on this day back in 1918.

It was designed by artists Eero Snellman and Bruno Tuukkanen, and is now said to resemble the expanses of white snow during winter, and the blue skies.

Choosing the flag of a new nation one hundred years ago was not without controversy.

Politicians argued whether a blue and white flag was too close in colour symbolism to Russia; whether a proposed yellow and red flag was too painful a reminder of the losing Red side in the recent civil war; and whether a cross design was too similar to other neighbouring countries.

According to regulations, flags start to be flown at 08:00 and come down the flag pole again at sunset – but no later than 21:00 during summer months.