The flag. A symbol of nationalism. For some it is just a piece of cloth flown from a pole. For some it is to be treated with respect and serves as a status symbol of nationalism. There are stories regarding people who have been thrown in jail for disrespecting a flag.
In the early days flags were simply used for military purposes. The flag serves as the symbol for troops or a kings’ army. Flags are designed uniquely. Sometimes man’s creativity is seen in the design itself. One good example of this is the flag of Finland.
Aside from being a symbol of a country there are also some institutions or government agencies that use the flag as a source of identification for their agency. One of them is the armed forces.
The flag of Finland sometimes called siniristilippu or the blue cross flag owes his history way back to the beginning of the 20th century. On the middle of the white background is a blue cross. Although there are many variants to the flag of Finland the only thing common about it is the blue cross.
It is believed that the basis of the flag is the Scandinavian cross. Its color represents the lakes and skies along with the white background representing the snow during winter season. But it was in 1861 when this flag was first used. After Finland gained its independence a contest was held for its design. Several entries were submitted, which ended up in two categories. The first one uses red and white to represent its emblem and the second one is its current colors of blue and white.
In accordance with the current Finnish law, its ratio is 11:18. Usually this flag is raised at 8 in the morning and is lowered at sunset. But there are instances where the flag is raised regardless of the time of the day or night. During Independence Day the flag is flown until 8 pm disregarding the dark.
In Finland there are a set of rules regarding the use or treatment of the flag. It is strictly forbidden to destroy the flag or use it in a disrespectful way. It is also forbidden to remove the flag from the pole without any permission. Anyone caught doing any of these acts will be fined.
It is believed that the flag of Finland is newer compared to other flags of other European countries. Although the flag is to be treated with respect, it is allowed to fly the flag at any given time of the day.
Even if it is not considered as one of the oldest flag in the world, it still carries with it a unique history. Its creation is based on two models, Sweden’s and Russia’s. Finland’s flag is born out of a desire to have a flag of its own after it got its independence from Russia. This flag tells that story. If it has a mind of its own it will tell its story from its humble beginnings to the present.