Estonian flag flown upside down outside Tartu student dorm

The national flag of Estonia when flown correctly.
The national flag of Estonia when flown correctly. Source: Ardi Hallismaa/

An incident on Sunday recalled a time when the Estonian blue-black-white flag flew upside down, with the difference being that while organizers of that high-profile event, the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, had the "excuse" of not being from Estonia, this time the faux pas happened on Estonian soil, and in Tartu no less.

Tartu Postimees reports that Father's Day on Sunday was a national flag day, meaning state, public and local government buildings are required to fly the Estonian flag, and with many private citizens following suit.

However, a passer-by spotted a problem with the flag outside the student hall of residence on Narva mnt 89 in Estonia's second city – that it was flying upside down, with the white uppermost and the blue at the bottom.

The passer-by contacted the student village who in turn informed residence management about the mishap, though by the time this was put right, at around 2 p.m., the flag had been topsy-turvy for most of the daylight hours at this time of year.

A spokesperson for the building maintenance firm said that it was all down to human error, not least that at 5 a.m. when the flag was flown, it was still pitch dark.

Estonian cyclist Erika Salumäe famously won gold in the women's match sprint in Barcelona in 1992, a victory only slightly marred by the flag being upside-down that time as well.

Salumäe was forgiving about the error, noting that they would get it right next time. These were the first games Estonia had competed in since the restoration of independence the previous year.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Tartu Postimees

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