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Provinces of Finland

Last modified: 2011-01-07 by elias granqvist
Keywords: finland | provinces: finland | regional flags |
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Finland Provinces

Present situation (2010–)

The provinces or counties (in Finnish läänit, in Swedish län) of Finland does not exist anymore as such, as of the 1st of January 2010. So the flags of them are now historical. Now the only regional partition of Finland are the modern maakunta/landskap (which we call regions here). They are legally a sort of municipality.

Elias Granqvist, 18 January 2010


To my knowledge these new regions do not currently have flags. The autonomous status and flag of the Aland Islands did not change.

Ben Cahoon, 17 April 2010


Editor's note: According to Finnish heraldists, the heraldry of the newer regions (in Finnish maakunta or maakuntaliitto, in Swedish landskap or landskapsförbund) shall be treated along the lines of municipal heraldry (because they are legally municipal entities), so pages for them are linked from the page for Finnish municipal flags rather than the page for Finnish provincial flags.


1997–2009

Traditionally Finland has been divided into nine 'historical provinces' (in Finnish 'historiallinen maakunta', Swedish 'historiska landskap'). They have no administrative meaning any more.

Today we have six larger zones ('lääni', 'län'). For map, please see http://www.intermin.fi/eng/prov/index.html. The Ministry of Interior uses the word 'province'. I have also seen terms 'administrative province' and 'county' used for these ones.

The six provinces are divided into 20 smaller areas ('maakuntaliitto', 'landskapsförbund'), see http://www.reg.fi/english/engindex.html. The Ministry of Interior calls these 'regional councils'.

I think that the six new administrative provinces don't use any special flags. Provincial governments are allowed to use the state flag and I think that is enough for them. I haven't heard that they had used e.g. banners of arms during these three years.

On the other hand, the twenty counties (created 1997) usually use banners-of-arms. The coats of arms can be found at http://www.kuntaliitto.fi/lehdisto/kuvat/maakunti.html. Åland's coat of arms is missing, but they use the blue-yellow-red scandinavian cross flag.

Ossi Raivio, 26 September 2000


In 1995 the old system "Finland 12 provinces (lääni, län, 400+ municipalities" was replaced with a new one: "Finland 6 provinces (lääni, län), 20 regions/counties (maakunta, landskap), 400+ municipalities". Quite simple. The problem, if there is any, is that we use the same word (maakunta, landskap) for the old, large, historical provinces and for the new, small regions/counties.

Ossi Raivio, 8 March 2001



List of Provinces

Administrative provinces/counties (1997–2009) (lääni, län)

Strictly speaking, Ahvenanmaan lääni is an autonomous province (itsehallinnollinen maakunta / autonomt landskap), the others are just provinces (lääni, län).
Rob Raeside, 12 March 2001

Traditional (historical) provinces
(historiallinen maakunta, historiska landskap)

Regional councils (maakunta, landskap)