This year, the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces is celebrated in a different but honorable way.

President Sauli Niinistö hoisting the Flag of the President of the Republic at the president’s official residence, Mäntyniemi, to honor the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces on June 4, 2020. Picture: Juhani Kandell/The Office of the President of the Republic

The rumble in the sky heard in various parts of the country on Thursday salute the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces.

The fly-past routines include Hawk jet trainers and F/A-18 Hornet multipurpose fighters.

Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, the traditional parade is canceled. Instead, the focus is on virtual entertainment; a commemorative concert by the Navy Band together with some of the popular Finnish artists is broadcast without an audience from Turku. The mission is to introduce the listener to the Finnish state of mind.

Naturally, flags have been lifted across the land to honor the day, which is the birthday of Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (1867-1951).

In the morning, behind the privacy of his official residence, Mäntyniemi, in a setting of birches and pines and fresh sea air, President Sauli Niinistö hoisted the presidential standard on the tall flagpole.

There the flag waved as a symbol for victory over hard times, overlooking the islands, such as Seurasaari, a host for family gatherings and museums still closed from the public.