Estonian flag - sky, earth and snow

Last updated 18.08.2016

Estonian flag - sky, earth and snow

Source: Anton Klink

At sunrise each and every morning, visitors to Tallinn can witness the raising of the Estonian tricolour to the top of the Tall Hermann tower as the national anthem rings out. The Estonian flag has three horizontal stripes: blue, black and white. Each represents an element of the Estonian spirit and story. 


The Estonian flag as it is known today was envisioned during the national awakening movement in the late nineteenth century. It became a symbol of autonomy and unity among the Estonian people on the long road to freedom. In 1918 the flag was adopted by the Estonian Provisional Government, newly independent from the Russian Empire. During the interwar period the flag proudly flew from the Tall Hermann tower in Tallinn until 1940.

Flying above Toompea Castle

The Estonian flag flies high atop Tall Hermann tower (right), a part of the medieval Toompea castle, now home to parliament, government offices and historical churches.

Photo by: Kaupo Kalda

Throughout the Soviet occupation use of the tricolour was banned, however in 1988 it again became a symbol of emancipation during the Singing Revolution. On February 24th, 1989, after a nearly half century long interruption, the blue, black and white colours were returned to their perch atop Tall Hermann tower, marking renewed independence. The flag is raised every morning where it flies above the capital.

Blue, black and white

Nature is the best inspiration

Estonians have always lived close to nature and it's not hard to find the impact the plants, animals and seasons have on everything from folklore to the national flag. 

Photo by: Anneli Tandorf

Estonian culture is closely intertwined with nature, making the landscape an instinctive source of inspiration for the nation's flag - blue for the clear skies, Baltic sea, and freshwater lakes, black for the fertile soil and dark, thick forests and white for winter snow and the summery white nights. Blue and white also embody the spirit of loyalty and enlightenment used by the Estonian people to overcome the darkness of hardship. This unique combination of colours makes the Estonian flag easily recognisable throughout the world.

Last updated 18.08.2016
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