Gallery: Toompea ceremony marks Estonian flag day

Tuesday's national flag day marks the 135th anniversary of the consecration of the original blue, black and white Estonian flag. The tricolor later became the national flag.

A ceremony at the Governor's Garden in Toompea, site of the Riigikogu, in Tallinn's Old Town, brought together Jüri Trei, Estonian Flag Association chair, Archbishop Urmas Viilma, head of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK), and Riigikogu speaker Henn Põlluaas (EKRE), all giving speeches at the event.

At 7 a.m., as per tradition, the tricolor was hoisted from Pikk Hermann tower, adjacent to the Governor's Garden, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

Volunteer Defence League (Kaitseliit) personnel, and members of the affiliated Women's Home Defence (Naiskodukaitse ), Young Eagles (Noored Kotkad) and Home Daughters (Kodutütred), also took part. The Scouts, Guides, and several academic organizations, societies and schools were also represented.

The Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) orchestra performed patriotic anthems including  "Hoia, Jumal, Eestit" ("God Save Estonia" – music: Juhan Aavik, lyrics: Aleksander Leopold Raudkepp), together with choirs from the Estonian Female Song Society and various Tallinn schools.

Head of the Danish Flag Society Erik Fage-Pedersen also greeted attendees. The Danish flag (the Dannebrog) celebrates its 800th birthday this year, with a strong connection to Tallinn. According to legend, the Dannebrog first descended from the skies above the Battle of Lyndanisse, fought close to the present-day Estonian capital, on June 15, 1219.

The Estonian tricolor was first produced by the Estonian Students' Society (EÜS), in spring 1884, and was blessed and consecrated in Otepää on June 4.

Public displays of the blue, black and white national flag were forbidden during the Soviet occupation. The flag started to be openly flown from the late 1980s, leading up to independence in 1991.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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