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Finland Flag

Finland was a part of Sweden from the 12th century until 1808 and under Russian rule from 1808 until 1917. The flag adopted upon independence was based on the Swedish flag in design and was similar to flags flown by Finnish yacht clubs in the 19th century. The first yacht club, the Nylandska Jaktkluben, was established in 1861 in Helsinki and adopted a white flag with a blue cross, with the arms of the county of Nyland in the canton.

Other yacht clubs followed this example, adopting this design with different arms in the canton. The first to suggest that the national colours be blue and white was a poet named Zachris Topelius in 1862 and in 1863, the newspaper Helsinfors Dagblat suggested the national flag be white with a blue cross. The blue represents the thousands of lakes in Finland, and the clear skies, the white represents the snow, which covers the country in winter.

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