The Finnish flag

The banner showing “the blue of our lakes and the white snow of our winters” was made official in 1918, shortly after independence.

The Finnish flag with “the blue of our lakes and the white snow of our winters”, as a poet described these symbolic colours in 1870, was made official in a law enacted on May 29, 1918, less than six months after Finland had achieved independence.

The flag features a blue cross on a white background. It takes two forms, the national (civil) flag and the state flag.

The national flag

The Finnish flag.

The national flag is rectangular in shape and its dimensions are: height l l and width 18 units of measurement; width of cross 3 units, colour PMS294C; height of fields 4 units, length of fields at the hoist 5 units and of fields at the fly 10 units. Every Finnish citizen enjoys the right to fly the national flag. With certain exceptions, the national flag is flown by Finnish vessels as their national ensign.

Dimensions of the Finnish flag.


The state flag

State flag: the Finnish flag with the coat of arms of Finland inset in the square formed by the intersecting arms of the cross.

The state flag is either rectangular or three-pointed. The coat of arms of Finland is inset in the square formed by the intersecting arms of the cross. The square has a yellow border, the width of which is one-fortieth of the width of the cross. State departments and establishments fly the rectangular state flag. The Defence Forces use the three-pointed version of the flag, which is one unit of measurement longer than the national flag or the rectangular state flag. The President of the Republic uses a three-pointed version of the state flag, in the canton of which a blue and yellow Cross of Freedom is featured.

Finnish official flag-raising days in 2024

January 28 Election Day (first round of presidential election)
February 3 Alvar and Aino Aalto day, Day of Finnish Architecture and Design | a recommended flag day
February 5 Runeberg Day
(in honour of national poet J.L. Runeberg)
February 6 Sámi National Day | a recommended flag day
February 11 Election Day (second round of presidential election)
February 28 Kalevala Day, Finnish Culture Day
(in honour of the national epic Kalevala)
March 1 Inauguration of the new president
March 19 Minna Canth Day, Equality Day
(in honour of writer and social activist Minna Canth)
April 8 International Romani Day | a recommended flag day
April 9 Finnish Language Day, Mikael Agricola Day (in honour of linguist and theologian Mikael Agricola, who is credited with creating the first written Finnish literature)
April 27 National War Veterans’ Day
May 1 May Day, Labour Day
May 9 Europe Day
May 12 Snellman Day, Finnish Heritage Day
(in honour of statesman J.V. Snellman)
May 12 Mothers’ Day
May 19 Remembrance Day
June 4 Flag Day of the Defence Forces
June 9 Election Day (European parliamentary election)
June 22 Midsummer Day, Day of the Finnish Flag
July 6 Eino Leino Day, Day of Summer and Poetry
(in honour of poet Eino Leino)
August 9 Tove Jansson Day, Finnish Art Day | recommended flag day                                     (in honour of author and artist Tove Jansson)
August 31 Finland’s Nature Day
October 1 Miina Sillanpää Day, Civic Participation Day (in honour of journalist, social advocate and MP Miina Sillanpää, Finland’s first female government minister)
October 10 Aleksis Kivi Day, Finnish Literature Day
(in honour of author Aleksis Kivi)
October 24 United Nations Day
November 6 Finnish Swedish Heritage Day (Svenska dagen)
November 10 Fathers’ Day
November 20 Day of Children’s Rights
December 6 Independence Day
December 8 Jean Sibelius Day, Finnish Music Day
(in honour of composer Jean Sibelius)

Updated February 2024