Gallery: Toompea flag-raising ceremony heralds Estonian independence day
The traditional annual independence day flag-raising ceremony in the Governor's Garden on Toompea, Tallinn, went ahead Wednesday morning just after 7.30 a.m.
This year, due to coronavirus restrictions, attendance was limited, though the head of state, President Kersti Kaljulaid, was present, as was Riigikogu speaker Henn Põlluaas (EKRE), who gave the customary speech, and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform).
Members of the public could view proceedings from afar, while socially distanced.
The flag was raised atop the Pikk Hermann tower at 7.32 a.m. (dawn) by a team comprising representatives of academic and youth organizations.
Head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Estonia Archbishop Urmas Viilma issued the traditional blessing, while the National Opera (Rahvusooper) boys' choir, conducted by Hirvo Surva, sang a selection of patriotic hymns.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual military parade is off the table, as is the evening presidential reception. In their place, NATO jets from several countries will perform a flyover across several Estonian towns, between 12.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m., while the president will be live linked to her speech, which she will make in the central Estonian town of Paide, and a concert, on ETV, from 6 p.m.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte