The national flag of Estonia is a tricolour featuring three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white. The normal size is 105 × 165 cm. In Estonian it is called the "sinimustvalge" (literally "blue-black-white"), after the colours of the bands. The flag became associated with Estonian nationalism in the beginning of the 20th century and was used as the national flag (riigilipp) when the Estonian Declaration of Independence was issued on 24 February 1918. The flag was formally adopted on 21 November 1918. On 12 December 1918 the flag was raised for the first time as the national symbol atop of the Pikk Hermann tower in Tallinn.[1]

The following is a list of flags of Estonia.

National flag

Flag Date Use Description
1918–1940
1944
1988/1990–present
Flag of Estonia (State flag and civil ensign) Dimensions are 7:11.
1918–1940
1944
1988/1990–present
Flag of Estonia (vertical)

Standards

Head of state

Flag Date Use Description
1992–present
1927[2]–1940
Presidential standard National tricolour with the greater coat of arms in the center
?–present Presidential standard (maritime use) Swallow-tailed tricolour with the greater coat of arms in the center

Ministers

Flag Date Use Description
?–present Defence Minister National tricolour with the lesser coat of arms off-set to hoist

Military flags

Flag Date Use Description
2008–present Flag of the Estonian Defense Forces Coat of arms of Estonia in banner form

Army

Flag Date Use Description
?–present Flag of the Estonian Land Forces

Navy

Flag Date Use Description
1991–present
1926–1940
Naval ensign Swallow-tailed tricolour with the lesser coat of arms in the center
1991–present
1926–1940
Naval jack Dimension: 7:11 (the saltaire equals 1 part, the George's cross 2 parts) It resembles the Union Jack of the United Kingdom
1991–present
1926–1940
Flag of Commander in Chief
?–present Rear admiral’s Flag Flag similar to CinC Armed Forces but without any yellow borders
?–present Lieutenant general’s Flag Flag similar to CinC Armed Forces but with yellow edge only at the top
?–present Major general’s flag Flag similar to CinC Armed Forces but with yellow edge only along the lower edge
?–present Chief of Naval Forces White triangular swallow tailed pennant (broad pennant) with blue "chevron" rising from the hoist and with yellow anchor near the hoist
?–present Chief of division The same flag as Chief of Naval Forces, but without the anchor
?–present Senior Officer Afloat White triangular pennant with horizontal blue stripe through the middle
?–present General Agent of the Navy National flag with a white square with two crossed anchors in the top canton
?–present
1923–1940
Presidential pennant
?–present Masthead pennant White pennant tapering toward the point in the fly from about the half of the length with the national tricolour at hoist

Air Force

Flag Date Use Description
?–present State flag of the Estonian Air Force
?–present Flag of the Estonian Air Force

Defence League

Flag Date Use Description
?–present Flag of the Defence League (obverse)
?–present Flag of the Defence League (reverse)

Government flags

Flag Date Use Description
?–present Minister of Internal Affairs pennant
?–present Border Guard pennant
?–present Police and Border Guard flag Coat of arms of Police and Border Guard Board in banner form
1993–present Flag of the Estonian Internal Security Service Dark blue field with its coat of arms in the middle, "VIRTUTE ET CONSTANTIA" at the top, and "KAITSEPOLITSEIAMET" (historical), "1993" at the bottom.[3][4]
1923–present[5] Border Guard The letters PV are visible on the national flag which is defaced with green and yellow markings
2004–present Customs flag
1923[6]–2004 Customs flag National flag with red square bearing caduceus and letter T in the top canton

Sporting flags

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Estonian Olympic Committee A white flag with the logo of Estonian Olympic Committee in the middle.

Postal flag

Flag Date Use Description
1994–2009[7] Postal flag Flag of Estonia defaced with a post horn

County flags

Further information: Counties of Estonia

Each county of Estonia has adopted a flag, each of them conforming to a pattern: a white half at the top bearing the county's coat of arms in the middle, and a green half at the bottom.

Flag Administrative division Adopted Description
Harju 1939[8]–present
Hiiu 1996–present
Ida-Viru 1997–present
Jõgeva 1996–present
Järva 1939[8]–present
Lääne 1939[8]–present
Lääne-Viru 1996–present
Põlva 1996–present
Pärnu 1939[8]–present
Rapla 1996–present
Saare 1939[8]–present
Tartu 1939[8]–present
Valga 1939[8]–present
Viljandi 1939[8]–present
Võru 1939[8]–present

History

Municipal flags

See also: List of city flags in Europe § Estonia

Political flags

Flag Date Party
2022–present Parempoolsed
2018–present Estonia 200

Eesti 200

2012–present Conservative People's Party of Estonia

Eesti Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond

2006–present Isamaa
1994–present Estonian Reform Party

Eesti Reformierakond

1991–present Estonian Centre Party

Eesti Keskerakond

1990–present Social Democratic Party

Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond

Flags of ethnic groups

Flag Date Use Description
?–present Flag of Setos
2003–present Flag of Votians
2013–present Flag of Võros
?–present Flag of Mulks
1800s–present Flag of Baltic Germans
1996–present Flag of Noarootsi Parish [9]

Historical flags

Flag Date Use Description
1953–1990 Flag of Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic Red flag with a golden hammer and sickle and outlined star above them in the top-left corner. A band of blue and white water waves in the lower half.
1944–1953
1940–1941
Flag of Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic Red flag with a golden hammer and sickle in the top-left corner and "ENSV" (Eesti Nõukogude Sotsialistlik Vabariik) written above the hammer and sickle.
Estonian Workers' Commune 1918–1919

(50 days)

Flag of the Estonian Workers' Commune A red flag with a golden canton. Inside the canton, the texts meaning "Estonian Workers' Commune", separated by a red line:
Estonian: "Eesti Töörahva Kommuun";
Russian: "Эстляндская трудовая коммуна" ("Estlyandskaya Trudovaya Kommuna").

On the red filed there are also white Russian inspections "НА БАРИКАДЫ ЭСТОНСКИЙ ПРОЛЕТАРИАТ" "ЗА СОВЕТСКУЮ ЭСТЛЯНДИЮ, ВЕЛИКУЮ ВОЛГУ, УРАЛ, СИБИРЬ ВО ИМЯ III КОММУНИСТИЧЕСКАГО ИНТЕРНАЦИОНАЛА", which means "On the barricades is the Estonian proletariat. For Soviet Estonia, greater Volga, Ural and Siberia, in the name of the third Communist International".[10][11]

1941-1944 Flag of German Reich Red field with a white disc with a black swastika at a 45-degree angle. The swastika disk is slightly off-centre.
1918 Flag of German Empire Horizontal black-white-red triband.
1896–1917 Flag of Russian Empire Horizontal white-blue-red triband.
1858–1896 Flag of Russian Empire Horizontal black-yellow-white triband.
1650–1721 Flag of the Duchy of Estonia under Sweden
1561–1650 Flag of the Duchy of Estonia under Sweden
1570–1579 Flag of the Kingdom of Livonia
1587–1629 Flag of The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Version with additional arms of the House of Wasa.
1569–1587 Flag of The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Tailed red-white-red triband with the coat of arms in the middle.
1559–1645 Flag of the Duchy of Estonia under Denmark–Norway
1456–1523 Kalmar Union Emblems of the Kalmar Union
1237–1561 Flag of the State of the Teutonic Order White flag with a black cross.
1300–1346 Flag of the Duchy of Estonia under The Kingdom of Denmark

Proposed flags

Flag Date Description
- Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Proposed Nordic cross flag
- Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Proposed Nordic cross flag
- Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Proposed Nordic cross flag
1919 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Proposed cross flag

See also

References

  1. ^ "Estonia's Blue-Black-White Tricolour Flag". Archived from the original on 17 December 2007.
  2. ^ "VAU - Sisene". www.ra.ee.
  3. ^ "Eesti". De Rode Leeuw. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  4. ^ "Symbols and traditions". Kaitsepolitseiamet. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  5. ^ "VAU - Sisene". www.ra.ee.
  6. ^ "VAU - Sisene". www.ra.ee.
  7. ^ Postilipu kasutamise korra kinnitamine
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Riigi Teataja 15 august 1939 — DIGAR Eesti artiklid". dea.digar.ee.
  9. ^ most of the remaining Estonian Swedes in Estonia live in this parish and this flag reflects the Swedish heritage of the region.
  10. ^ "Estonia in the Soviet Union (early flags)". Flag of the World. Retrieved October 9, 2022.
  11. ^ "Эстония в 1917 – 1919 годах". Vexillographia. Russian Centre of Vexillology and Heraldry. Retrieved May 19, 2024.