On the 137th anniversary of the national flag of Estonia, President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Jüri Ratas said at the flag raising ceremony in the Governor’s Garden at Toompea in Tallinn that through the ages, the Estonian flag had helped the people of Estonia to achieve everything they undertake with their hearts.
Ratas noted that 140 years ago, learned people who valued the Estonian culture and wished to increase our sovereignty had gathered under this flag. “At their annual meeting in September 1881, they chose blue, black and white, which in harmony among themselves reflect the character and the ideals of the Estonian people, to be the colours of their organisation, the Estonian Students’ Society. For, in the words of Jakob Hurt, one of the towering figures of the Estonian National Awakening, as a small nation, we will have to become great in spirit,” the President of the Riigikogu said.
“This outstanding, dignified and great spirit lives on to this day,” Ratas added. He noted that the blue-black-and-white flag was flying high in the lives and hearts of the people of Estonia. “We can feel this when we see the respectfully displayed national colours in many places and on different occasions. On our houses and in our courtyards, on our festive days and at sports events, in our homes and on our clothing, on our products and in our creative work, in our country and in the world. Because both greater and smaller causes to be proud of carrying the spirit of Estonia are worth celebrating by flying our flag,” he said.
“The spirit of Estonia will live on as long as we carry and share it,” Ratas emphasised. In his opinion, it was important to pass the traditions connected with the national flag on to the decision-makers of tomorrow. “In this way, the blue-black-and-white flag will continue to fly as the symbol of the achievements of each one of us, all families and the whole Estonia. And always, the blue will be keeping our faith and hope in our future, the black will be honouring the hardships and complications of our past and the white will inspire us to keep going further boldly and confidently,” Ratas said in conclusion.
Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Urmas Viilma said the words of blessing at the flag raising ceremony. Chairman of the Estonian Flag Association Jüri Trei also delivered a speech.
Representatives of the August 20th Club and the Estonian Society of Narva assisted at the flag raising, and the Riigikogu and the Estonian Flag Association thanked them by giving them ceremonial flags.
The flag-raising units of the Guard Battalion, Defence League, Women’s Home Defence, Young Eagles, Home Daughters, Scouts, Guides, schools and patriotic organisations also attended the flag raising ceremony in the Governor’s Garden. Music was provided by the Orchestra of the Defence Forces, and Nõmme Female Choir and Young Women’s Choir Kevad.
The National Flag day is celebrated on the anniversary of consecrating of the blue-black-white flag of the Estonian Students’ Society. The first blue-black-white flag was made in spring 1884, and was blessed and consecrated at Otepää parsonage on 4 June. This year we celebrate the 137th anniversary of the consecration of our blue-black-and-white flag.
Photos of the flag raising ceremony (Erik Peinar, Riigikogu)
(Please note that the photos will be uploaded with a delay.)
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