Sunday, April 21, 2013

National symbols of Finland

Flag of FinlandI was thinking about the Finnish coat of arms - a crowned lion holding a sword. Why lion in Finland? I have just checked that it was created in the 1580's after King of Sweden John III became "Grand Duke of Finland" and the lion became linked with the grand-ducal coat of arms. While looking for these information I came across the other symbols of Finland. Quite a lot of the more or less official ones, take a look:
Finland's national flag: a blue Nordic cross on a white background,
national anthem: Maamme (eng. “Our Land”),
national epic: Kalevala,
writer: Aleksis Kivi,
poet: Johan Ludvig Runeberg,
composer: Jean Sibelius,
animal: Brown Bear (fin. ruskeakarhu),
bird: Whooper Swan (fin. laulujoutsen), (displayed on the Finnish 1euro coin),
fish: European perch /fin. ahven),
tree: Silver Birch (fin. rauduskoivu),  
flower: Lily of the Valley (fin. kielo),
fruit: cloudberry (fin. lakka, hilla, valokki or suomuurain),
stone: granite (fin. granitti),
insect!: seven-spot ladybird (fin. seitsenpistepirkko). It is also symbol of the Finnish Swedish People's Party, 
musical instrument: the Kantele, 
horse: Finnhorse (fin. suomenhevonen), dog: Finnish spitz (fin. suomenpystykorva), 
and the last but not the least ... a national personification of Finland is The Maiden of Finland
(fin. Suomi-neito). Below: Suomi-neito on the picture from 1906, and the famous painting by 
Eetu Istoby, Hyökkäys (eng. Attack) presenting Suomi-neito fighting with the Russian eagle. Painting comes from 1899, time of Russification in Finland.

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