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Flag Coat of arms of Finland.svg
Location of Finland within Europe

The Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomen tasavalta Swedish: Republiken Finland) is a Nordic country in northeastern Europe, bordered by the Baltic Sea to the southwest, the Gulf of Finland to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west. Finland has land frontiers with Sweden, Norway and Russia. The Åland Islands, off the southwestern coast, are under Finnish sovereignty while enjoying extensive autonomy. The Finnish name for Finland is Suomi; in Swedish it is Finland.

Finland gained independence from Russia on 6 December 1917. Prior to that, it had been part of the Kingdom of Sweden and an autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland under Imperial Russia. After fighting two wars with the Soviet Union in the mid-20th century, it has grown quickly from a largely agrarian society to one of the world's most developed countries. Finland has a high standard of living, one of the best educational systems in the world, and it has been the birthplace to many technological phenomena such as Nokia, SMS, Linux, Angry Birds and IRC.

Finland has been a member of the European Union since 1995.


Selected article

Flag of Finland.svg

The Flag of Finland (Finnish: Suomen lippu, Swedish: Finlands flagga), also called Siniristilippu ("Blue Cross Flag"), dates from the beginning of the 20th century. It features a blue Nordic cross on a white background. Blue represents lakes and the sky, and white represents snow and the white nights of the Finnish summer. The state flag has a coat of arms in the centre, but is otherwise identical to the civil flag. The swallow-tailed state flag is used by the military. The presidential standard is identical to the swallow-tailed state flag but also has in its upper left corner the Cross of Liberty after the Order of the Cross of Liberty, which has the President of Finland as its Grand Master. Like Sweden's, Finland's national flag is based on the Scandinavian cross. It was adopted after independence from Russia, when many patriotic Finns wanted a special flag for their country, but its design dates back to the 19th century. The blue coloring is said to represent the country's thousands of lakes and the sky, with white for the snow that covers the land in winter. This color combination has also been used over the centuries in various Finnish provincial, military, and town flags.

Selected picture

Lutheran Cathedral Helsinki.jpg
Photo credit: Hans Hillewaert
The Helsinki Cathedral is an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the centre of Helsinki.

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Selected biography

Painting of the murder of St. Henry by Lalli

Saint Henry was a legendary English clergyman. Conquering Finland together with King Eric the Saint of Sweden and dying as a martyr, Henry became central in the local Roman Catholic Church. Even today, together with his alleged murderer Lalli, he remains one of the best recognized persons from the history of Finland. The authenticity of the accounts of Henry's life, ministry, and death is widely disputed. On the basis of the traditional accounts of Henry's death, he was locally recognized as a saint, prior to the founding of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. He continues to be remembered as a local observance in the Catholic Church of Finland. He is also commemorated in several Protestant liturgical calendars. (more...)

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Flag of Finland.svg You are invited to participate in Finland WikiProject, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Finland.

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View from the water tower in Hanko, Finland.
Photo credit: commons:User:Janke

Panoramic photo shot from the water tower in Hanko, Finland.

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