In 1918, Estonia declared its independence from Russia and, with the Treaty of Brest-Litowsk, Russia relinquished all its claims on the country. The national flag was adopted on November 21, 1918. It consists of three equal horizontal lines.
The top line is blue. Blue was chosen to represent not only the blue of the sky, but also the immense coast line. It also represents the faith and loyalty that the people of Estonia possess.
Representing the darkness of the country’s past, the second horizontal line is black. The people’s suffering during this time is also represented in this line. However, on a lighter note, it was also chosen because black was the color of jacket worn by most peasants at the time.
At the bottom, is a line of white. The white line represents many things. First and foremost it represents the hope and enlightenment that the people of the country fought for. It is the color of not only peace, but the birch bark and the midnight sun illuminating the long nights in the summer time.
The people of Estonia held onto their freedom from Russia from 22 years. However, in 1940, as the world was once more at war, Russia once again seized control of the country and declared that Estonia was annexed and once again a part of the Soviet Union. Upon entering and gaining control, they banned all usage of the flag.
Instead, the Russian flag was the only flag that was allowed to be flown. The flag was solid red except for three images in the upper left hand corner. First, there was hollow yellow star that represented the life. The hollow red to shone through to represent the blood that was spilled by the struggle of worker’s. Just below the star, there was a hammer and a sickle joined together. The hammer represented the Russian worker’s, while the sickle represented the peasants.
It wasn’t until 1991 that Estonia would once again be free from Russia. The Western Nations, such as Italy, the US, and the UK, considered the annexation by Russia in 1940 invalid. Estonians declared their independence once more and Russia accepted it. The blue, black, and white Estonia flag once again flew proudly.