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Swedish speaking population in Finland

Last modified: 2003-04-05 by sean mckinniss
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[Flag for the Swedish speaking population in Finland] Jan Oskar Engene, 10 March 1996

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Description of the flag

The flag has a red field and yellow cross.

Jan Oskar Engene, 10 March 1996

Use of the flag

The flag mentioned by Andersson, red field and yellow cross, is based on the colours of the arms of Finland. It has been in use since before Finland's independence in 1917, and was considered for a national flag before the white and blue flag was adopted. It is supposedly still in use. However, my Swedish-Finnish colleague at work was unable to confirm this. He did say, however, that the colours are frequently used on pennants.

Jan Oskar Engene, 10 March 1996

The above flag (red, yellow Scandinavian cross), which you describe as being that of the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, is unknown to my Finnish friends. On the other hand it is very much the flag of Scania,"SkÂneland" in Swedish, composed of the three most southern provinces of Sweden (Blekinge, SkÂne and Halland), and the Danish island of Bornholm (with its own flag that is red with a green cross), being mostly - and widely - used in the southernmost Swedish province, SkÂne. It is the combination of the Danish red flag with the Swedish yellow cross, a reminder of the fact that these provinces were part of Denmark until 1658. For more information see this site. An identical flag was also used by the Quisling government in Norway during the German occupation. The red-and-yellow flag is believed to be the oldest of the Scandinavian cross flags, in that it was the flag of the archbishop of Lund (then in Denmark, now in Sweden), who as of 1104 was the spiritual leader of all the Nordic countries. It was then reintroduced in the 1870s by the Weibull brothers, who chose it because of the colour combination, which united Denmark and Sweden, and also reflected the colours of the City of Malmˆ and the CoA of SkÂne. See (in Danish) this site.

J. Christer Elfverson, 17 August 2002

Some may still believe the Scanian flag to be medieval and to have been the flag of the archbishop of Lund, but this bit of speculation has never been substantiated. See the updated version of the presentation of the Scanian flag on the FOTW site. And disregard the link above, to an outdated presentation of this flag by the Danish organisation Skaansk Fremtid (Scanian Future). Their latest and more sober version is to be found here.

Lars Roede, 19 August 2002

Some may also believe that the people living at the North Pole have a habbit of bringing round presents. And as far as I know they would be right. I could certainly not disprove them, as I do not know of the existence of people living at the North Pole. I find it very odd that a similar lack of knowledge about 13th century Scandinavia /is/ considered proof against the first mentioned belief. Instead of the repeated argument that since we don't know about it it didn't exist, I would like to read for once, that we do not know enough about the flag of Skaane to prove or disprove its existence in the middle ages.

Peter Hans van den Muijzenber, 26 August 2002


Finland has a Swedish speaking community making up about 6% of the total population. Swedish is recognized as an official language on par with Finnish.

Jan Oskar Engene, 10 March 1996