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.

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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 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.



The state flag

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 2018

February 5Runeberg Day
(in honour of national poet J.L. Runeberg)
February 28Kalevala Day
(in honour of the national epic; Finnish Culture Day)
March 19Minna Canth Day (Equality Day,
in honour of writer and social activist Minna Canth)
April 9Finnish Language Day
April 27Veterans’ Day
May 1Labour Day
May 9Europe Day
May 12Snellman Day (Finnish Heritage Day,
in honour of statesman J.V. Snellman)
May 13Mothers’ Day
May 20Remembrance Day
June 4Flag Day of the Defence Forces
June 23Midsummer Day, Day of the Finnish Flag
July 6Eino Leino Day (Day of Summer and Poetry,
in honour of poet Eino Leino)
October 10Aleksis Kivi Day (Finnish Literature Day,
in honour of author Aleksis Kivi)
October 24United Nations Day
November 6Finland-Swedish Heritage Day
November 11Fathers’ Day
December 6Independence Day
December 8Jean Sibelius Day (Finnish Music Day,
in honour of composer Jean Sibelius)


Updated January 2018