Centenary of national flag celebrated across country
29 May 2018, 01:15
Finland celebrated on Monday the centenary of its national flag, a blue cross against white background.
When the independence from Russia was declared on December 6, 1917, a totally different flag had been hoisted. It depicted the yellow coat of arms of Finland against a dark red background.
During the civil war that broke out following the declaration of independence, the whites gained victory over the reds, with major military assistance from Germany, and the red color became unacceptable.
Blue and white had been traditionally associated with Russia, and yellow-red with the west.
Tuomas Tepora, a researcher at Helsinki University, noted in a Finnish language newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on Monday that the blue-white flag remained a symbol of the victors, rather than of national unity, until the World War II.
Tepora said that blue and white as colors of Finland had actually been favored by loyalists to Russia in the mid 19th century. At the time, the Russian Czar, who was also the grand duke of autonomous Finland, treated Finland well.
The actual designwork of the new flag was carried out in only a few days by the artists hired to design new uniforms for the military. The flag approved in May 1918 had a crown in the center of the cross above the lion coat of arms.
Finland then was supposedly a monarchy. In 1920, the crown was removed as Finland became a republic.