Consecration of the Finnish Jaeger flag at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Liepaja

The first flag of the Independent Finland was consecrated in 1918 in Liepaja, at the Holy Trinity Church, where the Finnish Jägers took an oath of allegiance to the legitimate government of Independent Finland before going home.

The first flag of the Independent Finnish Army was consecrated on February 13, 1918 in the Holy Trinity Church in Liepaja. Finnish Jaegers swore allegiance to the legitimate government of Independent Finland.

The next night, the main battalion went home. They arrived in Vasa on February 25, 1918.

The Jaeger flag was first raised in Helsinki on May 16, 1918, in a parade to mark the end of the victory in the War of Independence. The flag fluttered in front of the Finnish Jaeger Regiment. The regiment was commanded by the former commander-in-chief of the battalion's main regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Erik Jernström.

At the Finnish Defense Forces parade, the Jaeger flag takes the honorable place immediately after the national flag. Independent Finland remembers its fighters.

Storyteller: Valdis Kuzmins; Wrote down this story: Valdis Kuzmins
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Memorial plaque to the Finnish Jaegers in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Liepāja

A memorial plaque dedicated to the Finnish Jaegers is located in Liepāja Holy Trinity Cathedral, Lielā iela 9.

The Finnish Jägers were a unit of the German Empire, formed by volunteers from Finland, which, under the name of the 27th Royal Prussian Jäger Battalion, took part in the First World War battles on the Eastern Front of Latvia in 1916-1917.

During World War I, the Grand Duchy of Finland was part of the Russian Empire and many Finns wanted a German victory in the war in order to promote the establishment of an independent state. On 20 November 1914, the Finnish Independence Movement was founded in Helsinki, which also planned to form the armed forces of an independent state. When the German government confirmed its readiness to train the Finns in January 1915, the recruitment of volunteers began and by the spring of 1916 almost 2,000 soldiers were stationed in Germany and were named the 27th Royal Prussian Jäger Battalion.

From June 1916 the battalion was on the Riga front, when it was moved to Liepaja until March 1917. After the February Revolution, the Russian Empire began to collapse and on 6 December 1917 the Finnish Parliament declared independence.

On 13 February 1918, the Battalion swore allegiance to Finland in the Holy Trinity Church in Liepāja. On 15 February 1918, the battalion left the port of Liepaja by ship to return home to the port of Vasa and take part in the Finnish Civil War against the Reds, who had staged a coup d'état on 27 January 1918. The well-trained and combat-experienced Jägers formed the core of the Finnish national army and a large number became commanders during the Second World War.

The battalion's flag, consecrated in Holy Trinity Church, became the first flag of independent Finland.