Hyvää huomenta (Good morning) - I am Malika Afif-Watt from Scotland although at the moment I am living in Hämeenlinna, a small city one hour North of Helsinki, Finland. I live here with my mum, grandmother and little sister Ameenah.
The Scottish flag is blue with a white cross - I think it looks like a big white kiss!
The Finnish flag has the same colours but they are the opposite way around.
Here I am in a wild meadow by my apartment with the Finnish flag. Do you like the wild lupins? They grow everywhere here in the summer time.
I often see the Finnish flag from my bedroom window and I see it flying in the wind when I open my curtains. The flag has blue to represent the thousands of lakes scattered across Finland and white to represent the winter snow which I played in when I arrived here in March.
My mum told me that I often see the flag from my bedroom window because the Finnish people have many "Flagging Days," and every building has its own flag pole.
In Finland there are six official flagging days plus days for official elections as well as thirteen other days which are marked on the calendar. On these days the flag must fly from 8am to sunset apart from Midsummers Eve when the flag stays until 9pm the next day.
Other occasions for "flagging days" can be birthdays of great Finnish people such as the composer Sibelius. It is also raised for political events like elections or the inauguration of the president.
My mum told me that the treatment of the Finnish flag is even defined by the law! The flag must never get dirty, damaged or touch the ground...If it does it must be burnt or cut into small pieces. If this law is broken you can be fined! Is it the same in your country?
My mummy's friend at work told her why the Finnish flag is so important to the Finnish people.
"The biggest flagging day on the calendar is December 6th, the Independence Day of Finland, which was declared in 1917. My grandfather was a 'sissi' (a subsoldier) in the great Winter War when Russia invaded. When my grandfather fought for Independence he and my grandmother (and many others) thought the Finnish flag was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen. They really sacrificed their youth for that flag. That generation are really patriotic.
Part of my generation are patriotic but we're not so close to those who were in the war and fought for that flag."
My mum took this picture on a flagging day for the EU; this building was an old Orthodox Church in Hämeenlinna.
This building then became a library, a school and is now an association house!
Toukokuu means May in Finnish and if you zoom in see if you can find any small flags on some of the dates. A small flag means of course a flagging day!
Here is a close up of some of the flagging days.
This one on May 12th was for Finnish language day.
Thank you for reading my Finnish Flag story; I look forward to hearing lots of other stories from all around the world,