The heraldic colors of Finland are red and yellow, and in the course of the independence movement several flags were designed in these colors.
However, popular opinion favored the blue and white combination first used in 1862 and presented as a Scandinavian cross the next year. The colors were said to represent the blue colored lakes and white snowfields of the country.
During the years of the civil war a banner of the arms was in use, but on 29 May 1918 the present flag was adopted. The arms were given to the Duchy of Finland in 1581 and originally had a ducal crown over the shield. This was omitted after the year 1920.
The nine roses are for the ancient provinces.
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