Tuesday declared national flag day, marking perpetuity of independence

Estonian blue-black-white.
Estonian blue-black-white. Source: Riigikogu Press Office

Tuesday, November 30 has been declared a national flag day. The event, dubbed the Day of Perpetual Estonian Nationhood, is new in that it marks parity between the amount of time Estonia has been an independent country, and the amount of time it was under Soviet and Nazi occupation – a little over half a century each.

Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas (Center) said that: "November 30 is the equinox of the liberty of the Republic of Estonia, as on that day, the time of freedom and the time of captivity of our country achieve equal lengths."

"This means that the number of days as an independent country and the number of days of occupation during our 104 years of history are equal," Ratas said.

"On behalf of the Board of the Riigikogu, I invite to people to decorate all houses with the blue-black-white, since from that day onwards, our country has been independent for more days that we have lived under different occupation powers," the speaker went on.

Ratas and the Rigiikogu's Board, together with the Estonian Heritage Society and the Estonian Flag Association, jointly issued the call to raise and lower the flag at sunrise and sunset, which at the end of November are at 8.49 a.m. and 3.29 p.m. respectively.

The flag raising ceremony is taking place on Toompea at the time of writing, and is being attended by Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) Urmas Viilma, representative of the August 20th Club Rein Veidemann, representative of the Memento association Peep Varju, Marie Elisabeth Kleinot and Erik Tinnuri, representatives of the Kodutütred and Noored Kotkad organizations – the youth wings of the volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit) respectively.

At 10 a.m. a virtual conference dedicated to the equinox of liberty will begin in the Riigikogu's conference ahll, with the opening address from Jüri Ratas.

President of the Academy of Sciences Tarmo Soomere, Head of the Tallinn City Archives, historian Küllo Arjakas, Professor Emeritus of Tallinn University Rein Veidemann and Research Editor at public broadcaster ERR Maarja Merivoo-Parro will present speeches.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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