Flag of Estonia: History of the Estonian Flag

First Appearance of the Estonian Flag

To get to the very first appearance of the Estonian flag, one needs to get back to the 1880s, when the Estonian Students Society from Tartu University adopted it before its consecration of the Estonian flag in Otepää pastorate on the 4th of June 1884.

For those interested on living the history of the Estonian flag, the original Baltic flag presented in Otepää can still be observed in the Estonian National Museum in the university city of Tartu.

Symbol of Nationalism

During the different occupations that marked the developing of Estonian history, the flag of Estonia became often the symbol of the Estonian nationalism and therefore it naturally became the Estonian national flag after the Declaration of Independence issued on the 24th of February 1982.

Still, the formal adoption of the rigilipp – national flag in Estonian – took place a little after the Declaration of Independence as the flag became the national flag of Estonia only November the 21st when it was raised to the top of Pikk Hermann, the tower right next to the Parliament building in Tallinn.

Soviet Ban of the Estonian Flag

Once the Soviet army entered Estonia in June 1940, the flag of Estonia was immediately removed from the top of Pikk Herman on the 20th of June to appear again the morning after together with the red flag of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic and disappear completely on July the 27th.

Flag of the Estonians

When Germans troops occupied the country, then the Estonian flag appeared again as flag of the Estonians, as Germans did not accept it as national flag.

To see the three colors flag appear again on the highest hill of Tallinn Old Town and therefore get its role of Estonia flag, people had to wait until the German retreat from the Estonian capitol city that took place in September 1944.

Again Soviet Army, Again Banned

When the Russian troops of the Red Army crossed the borders and took the place they had before the “temporary” arrival of the German ones, the Estonian flag seemed to be tolerated and started to appear together with the red star one symbol of the Soviet occupation.

Hence, as already happened in the past, the Estonian flag was declared illegal and so it stayed until the late 80s, when the perestroika took it back to the top of Pikk Hermann on the 24 of February 1989.

Some months later, on the 7th of August 1990, the flag was then declared again Estonian National Flag right a year before Estonia regained its full independence it still lives today.

Colors of the Estonian Flag

The flag of Estonia is made of three horizontal equal bands, with a blue top, one black in the middle and one white as bottom band.

As for every national flag, the colors of the Estonia flag have a specific meaning and, in this case, the Blue band represents the sky, the sea and the lakes Estonia have symbolizing the nationalism it officially represented before becoming national flag.

The black band represents the soil of the homeland while the white stands all for the hopes of Estonian people to reach happiness and light.

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