I remember right after the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, I spoke with a commander of the Finnish air force and asked him if there were plans to replace the white-blue-white roundel again with the swastika.
Taken slightly aback by my question, he answered that there were no such plans.
Even if swastikas were not placed as markings on airplanes, it was still the symbol of the Finnish Air Force Command.
All of this, however, changed very quietly. Helsingin Sanomat reported on the change thanks to a tweet by Teivo Teivainen, a professor at the University of Helsinki.
It is highly likely that since the swastika always raised eyebrows especially abroad, the era of removing statues thanks to the #BlackLivesMovement which made it easier to remove the old Finnish air force symbol.
Air Force Chief of Staff Jari Mikkonen admitted in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat that the symbol often attracted negative and even “angry” attention abroad.
“We are not ashamed of the swastika we use, it is not related to Nazi Germany,” said Mikkonen.
In the new era of bringing down old statues and raising new ones, one of these that should go up is of Rosa Emilia Clay, a teacher and Finland’s first African who got citizenship.