- question of the week - color of the week  


The flag day of the defence forces is held on June 4th. It is an official flag day. Therefore we present blue, a color of the Finnish flag, as the color of the week. The history behind the flag stretches back to the 1850s.

At that time, the Finnish author and social actor Sakari Topelius (1818 ? 1898) proposed that the colors of the Finnish flag should be blue and white. In a short story of his from the year 1854, Topelius defined what these colors stood for: "Blue and white are the colors of the Finns: blue for the sake of our blue lakes and white because of the snow of winter".

The flag with a blue cross was used already in the 1850s, though rather for economical than idealistic reasons. At the time, the Finnish merchant fleet was four times more extensive than that of the mother country Russia. As the Crimean war broke out in 1854, more than a half of the Finnish ships sailed beyond the frontiers of Russia. The Finnish merchant ships used a white flag with a narrow blue cross as "a flag of impartiality". It was an adaptation of a blue saltire of the Russian navy.

Since the 1860s, sailing clubs began to use a similar kind of flag in their yachts. The symbol of each club was added in the upper left corner of the flag. Hence, the blue-cross flag remained the semi-official flag of Finnish waterborne traffic.

As Finland gained independence in 1917, there was a temporal flag in use during the first months: a red flag with a yellow blazon presenting a lion in the middle. In May 1918, the Finnish parliament acknowledged the blue-cross flag as the flag of Finland. A paragon for the eventual model of the flag were, in addition to the flag of the Russian navy, cross flags originating from the Nordic countries. The sketch for the flag was made by the artists Eero Snellman and Bruno Tukiainen, whereas the blazon of the state flag and the "cross of freedom" included in the flag of the President of the Republic were designed by Olof Eriksson.

Initially, the colors of the flag were defined with samples of fabric. At the present, the colors have been specified by means of the CIE and NCS color standards. Thus, it is possible to ensure that the colors of the flag invariably stay the same.

The colors of the Finnish flag are, according to the PMS (Pantone Matching System) and government resolution (827/93) the following:

Blue 294 C

Red 186 C

Yellow 123 C