Flags and flyovers commemorate Defence Forces Day

The date marks the birth of Finland's first president Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, who was also commander of the armed forces.

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President Niinistö raises a flag at Mäntyniemi on Armed Forces Day 2020 / Credit: @TPKanslia

Flags have been run up flag poles around the country on Thursday morning to mark Defence Forces Day.

The date commemorates the birthday of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, former President of Finland and commander of the armed forces. The first parade was celebrated in Helsinki back in 1952, and this year also marks the 101st anniversary of general military service in Finland.

While there are usually parades and other events to commemorate Armed Forced Day, coronavirus restrictions mean that events move online this year.

The day began earlier on Thursday with President Sauli Niinistö raising a flag at his official residence Mäntyniemi in Helsinki accompanied by a small military brass band.

The Air Force has also organised flyovers in the skies above a number of cities during the morning.