Centenary year of independence encourages Finns to fly the flag

Ministry of the Interior 12.4.2018 14.42
Press release 39/2018
Centenary year of independence encourages Finns to fly the flag
Photo: Metsähallitus Eeva Mäkinen

In a follow-up survey on the Finland 100 centenary year, more than half of the respondents hoped that the Finnish flag would see more use in Independence Day celebrations. Moreover, many seem to hope that this wider use will become a tradition. The Finnish flag’s centenary will be celebrated in May.

The eagerness to fly the flag was evident in Independence Day celebrations. Thanks to a centenary year exception, the flag could be hoisted on the eve and kept up through the night. Almost 800,000 Finns took advantage of this special opportunity.

"It’s truly wonderful that this many Finns flew the flag themselves. For many, flying the flag has come to represent something distant and slightly too formal, which it should not be. Through our #Liputan (#Iflytheflag) campaign we sought to encourage Finns to fly the flag more readily," Senior Specialist Hanne Huvila says.

During the centenary year, the Ministry of the Interior called on all Finns to take part in the joint efforts to fly the flag as widely and prominently as possible. The message of the #Liputan campaign is that flying the flag is a wonderful and valuable thing that should not cause anyone unnecessary headache or tension. It is perfectly alright to fly the flag every day if you like.

The 100-year history of the Finnish flag

Before independence, Finland’s official flag was first the Swedish flag and then, under imperial rule, the Russian flag. When the song "Maamme" (Our country), which eventually became the Finnish national anthem, was first performed at a university student spring festival outside Helsinki in 1848, the festivities involved carrying the flag of the Helsinki University Student Union depicting the Finnish coat of arms on a white field. The event sparked a lively debate on Finland’s own flag, leading to several flag proposals.

The Finnish Parliament approved the proposal for the white flag featuring a blue cross on 27 May 1918. The Finnish flag will turn 100 in May this year.

The Finland 100 survey was conducted in conjunction with Statistics Finland’s consumer barometer survey. More than 1,000 Finnish residents between 15–84 years of age were interviewed for the study.

More information on flying the flag

More information:
Senior Specialist Hanne Huvila, tel. +358 295 488 313,