Finnish flag flying days

Finland has official flag flying days and national flag flying days designated in the calendar. The flag may be flown on other days as well.

Flying the flag is a great and dignified way to express joy and emphasise a day of celebration. Flying the flag is also a great way of showing respect or expressing sorrow. There is no reason to be shy about flying the flag. No reason is too small for flying the flag.

Finland has a rather tolerant flag flying culture, although a certain degree of sombreness is connected to flying the flag. It is good to remember that Finland is one of the best countries in the world. This is cause to rejoice, and hoisting the Finnish flag is a great way to celebrate independence.

The days stipulated by law

By law, the Finnish flag must be flown from public buildings on the following days:

  • 28 February, Kalevala day; the occasion is also celebrated as the Day of Finnish Culture
  • 1 May, Labour Day
  • Second Sunday in May, Mothers' Day
  • 4 June, birthday of C.G.E. Mannerheim, Marshal of Finland; the occasion is also celebrated as the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces
  • Saturday between 20 and 26 June, Midsummer Day; the occasion is also celebrated as the Day of the Finnish Flag
  • 6 December, Independence Day
  • Days when Finland holds parliamentary and local elections, elections to the European Parliament, or a referendum
  • The day the Finnish President is inaugurated

The days on which flying the Finnish flag is an established custom

It has become customary to fly the Finnish flag on the following occasions. The dates are also listed in the Finnish State Calendar compiled by the University of Helsinki, and it is recommended that the flag is flown on these occasions in the same way as on those provided by law.

  • 5 February, birthday of the poet J.L. Runeberg
  • 19 March, birthday of the writer Minna Canth, Day of Equality
  • 9 April, the day Mikael Agricola, the founder of the written Finnish language died and Elias Lönnrot, a collector of folklore was born; the occasion is also celebrated as the Day of the Finnish Language
  • 27 April, National War Veterans' Day
  • 9 May, Europe Day
  • 12 May, birthday of the statesman J.V. Snellman
  • Third Sunday in May, Remembrance Day
  • 6 July, birthday of the poet Eino Leino; the occasion is also a celebration of poetry and summer
  • 10 October, birthday of the writer Aleksis Kivi; the occasion is also celebrated as the Day of Finnish Literature
  • 24 October, United Nations Day
  • 6 November, svenska dagen, Finnish Swedish Heritage Day
  • Second Sunday in November, Fathers' Day
  • 8 December, birthday of the composer Jean Sibelius; the occasion is also celebrated as the Day of Finnish Music

The Åland Islands have their own dates for flying the island's flag, based on the island’s autonomy and the official and established dates for flying the Finnish flag. On the dates based on Åland’s autonomy, the Åland Islands fly their own blue, yellow and red flag.

There are eleven occasions during the year when the Sámi people can fly their own flag depicting the Sámi colours of red, green, yellow and blue.

When a foreign head of state is on an official state visit to Finland, the Finnish flag is usually flown from public buildings in the localities the visit covers. Usually the Ministry of the Interior also issues a general recommendation on the flying of the Finnish flag on such occasions.

Times of day the flag should be flown

The Finnish flag should be flown between prescribed times. The decree stipulates that it should be hoisted at eight in the morning and lowered at sunset. However, in summer the flag can be kept flying until 9 pm.

At Midsummer, the flag can be hoisted at 6 pm on Midsummer Eve and should not be lowered until 9 pm the following day.

On Independence Day, and on an election day when voting ends after sunset, the Finnish flag should be lowered at 8 pm.

Government agencies may deviate from the above provisions.

According to established practice, the Ministry of the Interior recommends that the flag is flown from 08.00 to 16.00 in winter during the polar night, when the sun does not rise above the horizon in the far north.