Last modified: 2010-07-30 by
Keywords: turku | finland | fleur-de-lis | monogram: mary | a |
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image by Ivan Sarajcic, 21 September 2007
Source: photo at: Wikimedia
Turku is the oldest city of Finland. In fact, the name "Finland" originally was applied by the Swedish only to the area around this city. Though it lost its status to the less Sweden-oriented Helsinki, it's still a major port. In addition to its Baltic trade, ferries leave here every day for the Åland Islands and for Stockholm.
The flag of Turku is a banner of its arms, Azure a Mary monogram Or surmounted with four fleurs-de-lis Argent.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 13 October 2007
After the Russian conquest in 1809, the diet of Finland convened in Turku once, but the city was never a de jure capital. Helsinki was made capital of the new Grand Duchy very soon.
The monogram in the flag (and arms) really looks like a Mary monogram (I also thought it was a Mary monogram when I first saw these arms), but in the flag (and arms) of Turku it is interpreted as an A, thus the initial letter of the Latin name of the city which is derived from its Swedish name Åbo.
Elias Granqvist, 27 July 2010