Ratas: Fly the Estonian flag to celebrate our achievements

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137th anniversary of Estonia's flag took place on June 4, 2021. Source: Erik Peinar, Riigikogu

The Estonian flag had helped the people of Estonia to achieve everything they undertake with their hearts, Speaker of the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas (Center) said on Friday morning during a ceremony to celebrate the 137th anniversary of the national flag of Estonia.

The ceremony took place in the Governor's Garden at Toompea in Tallinn and Ratas noted that 140 years ago, people who valued the Estonian culture and wished to increase their sovereignty 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 organization, 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," he 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 colors 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.

He said 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 20 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, Defense League, Women's Home Defense, Young Eagles, Home Daughters, Scouts, Guides, schools and patriotic organizations also attended the flag-raising ceremony in the Governor's Garden. Music was provided by the Orchestra of the Defense Forces, and Nõmme Female Choir and Young Women's Choir Kevad.

National Flag day is celebrated on the anniversary of consecrating 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 June 4.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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