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Provinces of Finland

Last modified: 2003-01-03 by elias granqvist
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Finland Provinces

Traditionally Finland has been divides into nine 'historical provinces' (in Finnish 'historiallinen maakunta', Swedish 'historiska landskap'). They have no administrative meaning any more.

Today we have six larger zones ('lääni', 'län'). For map, please see http://www.intermin.fi/eng/prov/index.html. The Ministry of Interior uses the word 'province'. I have also seen terms 'administrative province' and 'county' used for these ones.

The six provinces are divided into 20 smaller areas ('maakuntaliitto', 'landskapsförbund'), see http://www.intermin.fi/eng/prov/makartta.html. The Ministry of Interior calls these 'regional councils'.

I think that the six new administrative provinces don't use any special flags. Provincial governments are allowed to use the state flag and I think that is enough for them. I haven't heard that they had used e.g. banners of arms during these three years.

On the other hand, the twenty counties (created 1997) usually use banners-of-arms. The coats of arms can be found at http://www.kuntaliitto.fi/lehdisto/kuvat/maakunti.html. Åland's coat of arms is missing, but they use the blue-yellow-red scandinavian cross flag.

Ossi Raivio, 26 September 2000


In 1995 the old system "Finland -> 12 provinces (lääni, län) -> 400+ municipalities" was replaced with a new one: "Finland -> 6 provinces (lääni, län) -> 20 regions/counties (maakunta, landskap) -> 400+ municipalities". Quite simple. The problem, if there is any, is that we use the same word (maakunta, landskap) for the old, large, historical provinces and for the new, small regions/counties.

Ossi Raivio, 8 March 2001


Editor's note: According to Finnish heraldists, the heraldry of the newer regions (maakunta/landskap) shall be treated along the lines of municipal heraldry (because they are legally municipal entities), so I will make pages for them linked from the page for Finnish municipal flags rather than the page for Finnish provincial flags.



List of Provinces

Traditional (historical) provinces (historiallinen maakunta, historiska landskap):

Administrative provinces (today) (lääni, län):


Strictly speaking, Ahvenanmaan lääni is an autonomous province (itsehallinnollinen maakunta / autonomt landskap), the others are just provinces (lääni, län).

Rob Raeside, 2001-Mar-12


Regional councils (maakunta, landskap):