The Saami Parliament offers guided tours in its magnificent building in Karasjok. Mr. Anders Henriksen at the parliament had a beyond the call of duty touch to his presentation.
The architectural masterpiece is of course inspired by the Saami culture. Opened up for parliamentarism on October 9th in 1989. It celebrates 25 years of existence in 2014. The elected delegates comes from all over Norway are evenly spread between the genders. The other countries of Sápmi have their own Saami parliaments.
One of the things they have in common is the Saami flag. It was inaugurated three years before the Norwegian Saami Parliament, in 1986. A Norwegian artist, Astrid Båhl, won the design competition for the flag. It is also inspired by Saami culture.
The four background colours are the traditional colours that the Saami people would use in their suits and equipment.
The Swedish South Saami Protestant priest Anders Fjellner (1795-1876) wrote a poem called “Päiven parneh” (“Sons of the Sun”). Henriksen explains that this poem is the inspiration for the circle in the flag. The red part symbolizes the Sun and the blue the Moon. It is the love between the daughter of the Moon and the son of the Sun creating a ring of wholeness.
Inside the ring each of the four colours representing four different areas of Sápmi: Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the Kola Peninsula of the great Russian federation.
The flag received official status in Norway in 2003. On the Day of the Saami people, February 6th, it is mandatory to flag the Saami flag in all Norwegian municipalities.
With each passing year, February 6th becomes more and more important to the people of the Arctic.
Do you know that status of the Saami flag in Sweden, Finland or Russia?
The Saami Flag Explained At The Saami Parliament