How do we handle autonomous countries in the Nordic region?

+5 votes

According to Wikipedia there are three autonomous countries in the Nordic region: Faroe Islands, Greenland, Åland Islands.  Each has their own flag and have special status with other Nordic Countries.  The Finland sub-project is in the process of adding Category Information Boxes (CIB) to Parish categories.  I have started doing this for the Ålands Islands and I would like to display the Åland flag in the CIB and not include the Finnish flag, see Brändö.  Is this appropriate?  To see more about the Åland Example see About Åland Islands.

in Policy and Style by Norm Lindquist G2G6 Mach 6 (63.6k points)
edited by Norm Lindquist

To get official ibformation from Åland I emailed the Åland Islands Peace Institute and received the following reply:

Dear professor Lindqvist,

The Ålands Islands Peace Institute (where I´ve been a member of the Board) has asked me to answer your question concerning the use of the Åland flag.

According to Section 18 of the Act on the Automy of Åland from 1991 has Åland through the Legislative Assembly the legislative powers in respect of

"3) the flag and coat of arms of Åland and the use thereof in Åland, the use of the Åland flag on vessels of Åland and on merchant vessels, fishingvessels, pleasure boats and other comparable vessels whose home port is in Åland, without limiting the right of State offices and services or of private persons to use the flag of the State;".

The Legislative Assembly passed in 1992 an Åland Act on the flag of Åland where the measures and colours of the flag are regulated. There are no restrictions in the Act regarding private persons´, companies´ or societies´ use of the flag. Ships registered in Åland has the right to use the Åland flag but can also choose the Finnish flag (both possibilities occur among Åland-owned ships). The Act mentions three different official flag days when the Åland flag shall be hoisted on buildings owned by the Åland Government or the municipalities.

It is a misunderstanding that the Finnish flag must be flown on official Finnish flag days, otherwise than on state-owned buildings on Åland. On these days the buildings of the Åland Government and the municipalities hoist the Åland flag. An exception can be the Finnish National Day (Dec 6) when both flags often are hoisted but this is a matter of respect, not regulated in law. Official high-ranked guests from the state (i.e. the President) are also usually greeted with both flags.

So, in relation to the present legislation I see no problems for you to continue with your page with (only) the Åland flag displayed.

Best wishes,

Lars Ingmar Johansson
former Secretary General of the Åland Legislative Assembly (retired)

2 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
I do not see why the Finnish flag should be excluded. The flag of Åland is a regional flag that by law can be used on land in Åland and on ships registered in Åland. It can be flown on regional flag days, but on official Finnish flag days must the Finnish flag be flown.

The fact that Åland is autonomous does not make it an independent country. Finnish law is followed with quite a few exceptions in said law for Åland Region.

Project Finland can accommodate for the use of both flags. The rule must be incorporated into the project guidelines for categories, preferably by discussing it in the Nordic Google Group.

Edit: typo
by Juha Soini G2G6 Pilot (109k points)
selected by Ellen Gustafson
As Lars Ingmar Johansson states "...It is a misunderstanding that the Finnish flag must be flown on official Finnish flag days."  The automomous status of Åland is tricky, that is why I saught better advise.
I would not listen to private opinions. Here is a link to the actual Law available in Finnish and Swedish.
My link was about the use of the flag, yours about the autonomy and legislative rights.
You are correct.  I should have known that your unidentified link was to the 1978 flag law.  Please label your links.
+8 votes

I will repeat the answer I sent to your email...

Since the project related to the category in the CIB is Finland I think both flags should be shown. Otherwise, someone might mistake the Åland flag for being the flag of Finland. We can not assume everyone knows Åland has its own flag.

Not everyone will know that Åland is autonomous, and even so, Finland is still the sovereign state. Therefore I think that both flags would be appropriate to use on the parish categories of Åland.

Edited to add;

This is what the category would look like with both flags 

by Maggie Andersson G2G6 Pilot (140k points)
edited by Maggie Andersson

I have modified the position of the Finnish flag on Category: Brändö.  There is much presented on Ålamds page to give an introduction to the autonomous status of the Åland example.  It is not clear that Finland is the sovereign state.

You are free to listen to separatist propaganda, but you should stop bending the project guidelines here on WikiTree. There is a clear path for collaboration and you can take your case to the Nordic Google Group where we can leave the decision making to the majority.

Until then, please stop disrespecting our National Flag and use it as described in Project Finland Guidelines for Finnish Categorization.
I think Wikitree is not the right forum to discuss Åland's constitutional status or boost any separatist agenda - that is actually nonexistent in Finland. Poor Åland is enjoying massive state subsidies, and the idea that they should become independent would horrify the island dwellers.

The people that have lived and are living on those isles are genealogically connected mainly to Finland and Sweden, like so many others living in the coastal areas of SW Finland, and that is what matters on this site.

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