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In their own language, Finns generally refer to themselves as Suomalaiset and their land or country as Suomi , which may derive from suo , the Finnish expression for a bog or swamp.Finns constitute the majority of the citizens of the Republic of Finland, which has a Swedish-speaking minority as well as Saami (Lapp) and Rom (Gypsy) minorities.The most closely related languages are Estonian, Votish, Livonian, Vepsian, and the closely allied Karelian dialects of the Balto-Finnic branch.Although Finnish was established as a written language as early as the sixteenth century, its official status in Finland did not become equivalent to that of Swedish until after the Language Ordinance of 1863.This district lies north and east of the coastal plain toward the Russian border.Beyond the Arctic Circle, forests give way to barren fells, extensive bogs, rugged mountains, and the large rivers of Lapland.As the "Battle-Axe or Corded Ware" culture arrived in southwestern Finland around 3000 , proto-Finnic began diverging into early Saami-speaking and Finnish-speaking populations.The latter people gradually added farming to their hunting, trapping, and fishing adaptation.



Citizens throughout the country fly the national flag, a blue cross on a white background, during the celebration of Midsummer.

The national coat of arms, a crowned lion standing on a red field with silver roses, derives from Swedish heraldic crests of the sixteenth century and appears on a variety of postage stamps, banknotes and coins, and official seals.