TALLINN - The blue, black and white flag is the symbol of the language, culture, consciousness and determination of the Estonian nation that brings people together, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said at the ceremony marking the 135th anniversary of the national flag of Estonia.
At the end of the 19th century, the blue, black and white flag brought together Estonian intelligentsia, who wished to study and foster our culture and identity, Ratas said, adding that the force that stemmed from this was soon mirrored by the rest of the nation, too.
"When the Republic of Estonia was born, the blue, black and white flag was an expression of unwavering yearning for independence, which was defended with weapons on battle grounds. During the long and difficult years of occupation, the national colors lived on in our hearts and, occasionally brought to light, bore testament to our desire for freedom. Many years later, the national flag marked our road towards us regaining our independence," Ratas said.
The prime minister emphasized that the Estonian flag has been what brings the people together over the ages and will remain such a force in the future, too.
"We can feel it when we see thousands of blue, black and white flags hoisted across the whole Estonia -- on our houses and in our yards, on holidays and during festivities," he said, adding that each flag hoisted is a symbol of a common mindset and shared responsibilities.