Flag of Finland
|Design||Sea-blue Nordic cross on white field. |
Shortly after Finland gained independence in 1917, a competition was held for the design of the Finnish flag. Several different designs were submitted. Regarding the colours, the entries fell mainly into two categories – one using the red and yellow from the Finnish coat of arms, and the other using the present blue and white colours.
One entry had the Dannebrog cross design, but with a yellow cross on a red background. Another entry had diagonal blue and white stripes, but it was criticized as being more suitable for a barber shop than a newly independent country. Akseli Gallen-Kallela proposed a similar cross flag, but with colors inverted (white cross on blue), but this was considered too similar to the Swedish flag and particularly the Greek flag of the time. Finally, artists Eero Snellman and Bruno Tuukkanen specified the final form of the flag.
The current blue-crossed design was first used in Finland by Nyländska Jaktklubben, a yacht club founded in Helsinki in 1861. 
On a white background, it features a blue Nordic cross, which represents Christianity. 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.