What country speaks a language that is somewhat similar to Finnish? This land of over 2,222 islands has a long history of being conquered and ruled by Denmark and Sweden, and was celebrated in the Old Norse Icelandic sagas as Esthland, home of fierce Viking warriors. Many Viking treasures are still being discovered across its countryside.
This country is Estonia, jutting out into the Baltic Sea, just 50 miles south across the water from Finland. Despite its cultural and historic commonalities with the Nordic countries, it is currently considered a Baltic State, along with Latvia, with whom it shares a border, and Lithuania. When the Nordic Council was formed in 1952, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union, and was not able to participate.
Though only a little over 50% of Estonians identify as Nordic today, perhaps someday it be welcomed into the family by Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, and we can add its blue, black and white flag to our collection.