Finland’s Vexillology


Finland, nicknamed “Land of a Thousand Lakes”, is a Nordic country situated in Northern Europe bordering Sweden to the west, Norway to the north and Russia to the east, is a country that is well known for it’s cold temperatures and producing some of the best hockey players, among many others aspects. Although the country has done much good for both themselves and the world, this post will not reflect on all the greatness the country has done, nor will it reflect on it’s day-to-day lifestyle, but instead, this post will focus on the representation, symbolism and meaning of its flag.

To begin, let’s identify what we already know; the colours of the flag – Blue and White. You may ask, how did the country come to selecting these colours? Well, allow me to answer that. Finland, perhaps unbeknownst to many, has an abundance of lakes. It is said to have well over 180,000! That being said, one can now understand the Blue on the flag, it is said to represent the lakes and waterways of the country, but also to represent the sky. The white, as you may have already known, is said to represent the snow the country constantly experiences due to relatively harsh winters.

There are no glaciers in Finland today, which may seem strange considering it’s geographical location, being within the Arctic Circle. However, there have been glaciers in the past. That being said, the current landscape and geography provides evidence that the glaciations effects are lasting. Glaciers have a powerful influence on the landscape and influences land formation of other geological features, such as craters. Craters, which are a relatively large, circular shaped holes in the ground, form by having an ice sheet move across the Earth’s surface or by a volcanic explosion. Combining this with mentioned effects of glaciation in the country, this is a major cause for why Finland has many lakes today. Melted glacier water, coming from the glacier receding, filled up these craters and created what exists today as lakes in the area. What was once a land dominated area became an area filled with water due to the impact of glaciers.

With a climate classified as “subarctic”, Finland experiences long, cold winters and short and mild summers. Regarding the white on the flag which we established refers to snow, it is clear as to why this is so symbolic to the Finnish people and the country as a whole.

Combining both the geological features and history as well as the influence of geography and temperature in the country, it becomes crystal clear as to why Blue and White were the selected colours for their national flag.

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About Chameleon

-Multi-Sport Athlete, Coach, Geographer/Cartographer, Linguaphile, Statistician, Vexillologist
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