Finland keeps up emoji tradition with new additions

World | 9 Jun 2017 10:51 pm

One of six new emojis released by Finland today, adding to its large collection, is the blue, yellow and red flag of Åland (pictured).

Åland, a Swedish-speaking archipelago with a population of 29,000 and located between Sweden and Finland, marks its Autonomy Day today. Åland is part of Finland but has a special autonomy agreement that attracts international attention as an example of how to successfully and peacefully secure the position of a minority.

Nordic colours are also in evidence in another new emoji called Nordic Family (pictured). Finland, often represented symbolically as the Maiden of Finland (based on the country’s shape on the map), shares culture and a long history with the rest of the Nordic/Scandinavian countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

Finland became the first country in the world to publish its own set of national emojis in December 2015, as part of the Christmas calendar on the country branding website ThisisFINLAND.fi, produced by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

A set of summer emojis was added to the selection on the Day of Finnish Identity in May 2016, and six Arctic emojis were added in February 2017 on the Sámi National Day, and ahead of Finland’s two-year term as chair of the Arctic Council starting in May 2017.

The Finland emoji collection has met with great success abroad, garnering numerous international awards and reaching about 240 million people through traditional and social media.

"Finland emojis were initially released with the wish to convey that Finland is not only functional but also fun, as well as digitally savvy,” says Petra Theman, Director for Public Diplomacy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. "We have been overwhelmed by the amount of awards, suggestions for cooperation, including commercial use of the emojis, and by all the ideas sent to us. This has certainly been a fun addition to everything else we do in order to convey Things you should and shouldn’t know, according to our motto.”

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