Last modified: 2003-08-16 by dov gutterman
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by Antonio Martins, 22 April 1999
Official Name: Republic of Estonia (Eesti
Previous Name: Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic
Location: Baltic Eastern Europe
Government Type: Parliamentary Democracy
Flag adopted: 7 August 1990
Coat of arms adopted: 16 October 1990
ISO Code: EE
The Estonian national flag is a tri-color, with three equal
horizontal bands. The upper one is blue, the middle one black and
the lower white. The width to length ratio is 7:11, and the exact
standard dimensions are 1000 by 1650 millimeters.
The Law regarding the confirmation of the graphic specifications for the national flag and coat of arms was passed on July 7, 1992. The Law was confirmed with definitions of the images appearing on the small and large national coats of arms in conformance with the international color palette PANTONE 1.
The blue tone on the coat of arms is 285C. Colors of the triad: C91% CYAN (blue), M 43% MAGENTA, Y 0% YELLOW, B 0% BLACK.
The colors of the national flag are representative of Estonian history and folk costumes, as well as occurring in nature. The significance of the individual colors has been explained in various histories: blue is referred to as the color of faith, loyalty and devotion; it also reflects the qualities of the sky, sea, and lakes. Black is said to be symbolic of the dark past of suffering of the Estonian people; the traditionally black jacket of the Estonian peasant during past times. White represents the striving towards enlightenment and virtue. White is also the color of birch bark and snow, and summer nights illuminated by the midnight sun.
The days for raising the official flag are: January 1 - New Year's Day; February 24 - Independence Day; May 1 - May Day; second Sunday in May -Mother's Day; June 14 - Remembrance Day (anniversary of forceful deportation); June 23 - Victory Day; June 24 - Midsummer's; November 16 - Rebirth Day.
The flag atop Pikk Hermann Tower on Toompea hill in Tallinn is raised every morning at dawn, but not before seven o'clock; it is lowered at sunset, but not later than ten o'clock. The flags on other buildings are scheduled by local government codes.
"The state flag, which is also the national flag, is rectangular in shape, divided into three horizontal bands of equal size. The upper band is blue, the middle one is black and the lowest band is white. The proportions of the flag are 11:7 and its normal size is 165x105 cm. The blue-black-white flag was re-adopted as the state flag on the 7th of August, 1990 and the Law on State Flag was passed on the 6th of April, 1993."
Jorge Candieas, 26 October 1998
I have had a long discussion with the department of Estonia
national symbols. They couldn't explain to me how it was possible
this blue tone is so dark as at <www.rk.ee>. Nobady use
that color, BUT the law say so since 1992- "the blue tone on
the coat of arms is 285C; colors of the triad: C91% CYAN (blue),
M 43% MAGENTA (??), Y 0% YELLOW, B 0% BLACK".
This was a chaotic time, I think that the error with the blue tone was made by some unknown person..
I am an historian, and I know exactly - before World War II (the first Republic) the blue tone of Estonian flag was "sky-blue". That means strictly opponent to the dark! (It must be a clearly optical difference between blue and black!). I have found a link in your page to an Estonian Flag with the right blue color (historical true, since 1884 as a flag of Estonian student corporation, until 1940 as a national flag) blue color. That is <www.customs.ee>.
Indrek Kiverik, 11 January 2001
According to the French Navy Album, issue 2000 [pay00] - National Flag CS-/C--
(7:11) - Blue-black-white tricolour, unusual ratio - anyone knows
reason for it?
It seems that no flag is designated --W/--- (nor ---/-S- but that is less odd).
Zeljko Heimer, 24 August 2001
These flags and ensigns are more or less identical to those
used by the Republic of Estonia before Soviet invasion, which are
showed in Flaggenbuch ('Estland'). 7:11 ratio is already
mentioned in Flaggenbuch. I seem to remember that 7:11 ratio is
also widespread among Estonian local flags.
Ivan Sache, 25 August 2001
See also: Estonia - History of the Flag