12 May 2015

May 12 - johan snellman flag day

aka, the day of finnish identity.

johan snellman was an political philosopher and an influential figure in shaping the finnish identity. he was born in stockholm on this day in 1806 but moved to the finnish territroy when he was young. he became a popular lecturer at the university of helsinki. he self-exiled from 1839-1842 due to the government trying to censor and control oppositional thoughts among academics. when he returned to finland he published papers encouraging the rise in the finnish language and culture from peasant status to a respected national language and culture. he apparently coined the phrase:

'Swedes we are no more,
Russians we cannot become,
therefore Finns we must be'

he did become a prominent finnish senator, however, he ultimately had to resign in 1868 due to his radical reputation and inflexibility.

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