Flag of the University of Turku

Artist(s):Eric O. W. Ehrström Date:1922 Medium:silk Dimensions:110 x 132 cm

Designed by Eric O. W. Ehrström, the flag was made and funds for it raised by women from Pori; the all-female flag committee had 16 members, and Anna Sumelius (1893–1979) from Pori performed the demanding needlework with golden thread. The expert committee, whose members were Professor Armas Lindgren, Doctor Juhani Rinne and Professor Emil Wikström, approved the plan on 29 October 1921, and Chancellor E. N. Setälä confirmed it at a consistory meeting on 3 November 1921. The flag was completed in 1922 but only handed over to the University on 27 May 1926. It was inaugurated at the University’s inauguration on 12 May 1927.

The flag shows the University’s winged torch symbol, designed by Ehrström, on a coat of arms, surrounded by a wreath and ten heraldic roses.

The Turku Finnish University Society donated the conservation of the original flag, the showcase in which it was placed for the anniversary celebrations on 17 February 1998, and the new marching flag that was made in 1998–1999 after the model of the original flag. Mirja Fröberg led the conservation at the church textiles department of the Regional Museum of Southwest Finland.

Eric “Bucklan” O. W. Ehrström (1881–1934) studied briefly at the Drawing School of the Finnish Art Society (1899) and was a private student of Akseli Gallen-Kallela in Ruovesi (1899–1900), where he familiarised himself primarily with graphic arts, soon orientating towards industrial art. He later travelled to Paris and Vienna to continue his studies. In addition to creating his own diverse body of work and being an entrepreneur in industrial art, he taught at the Central School of Applied Arts and worked as a conservator at the Finnish Art Society. A long-term partner of architect Armas Lindgren, Ehrström collaborated with him in the committee established by artists and architects to embellish the premises of the Finnish University of Turku. In addition to the winged torch emblem and the University’s flag, he designed the Rector’s gown, light fixtures and a floor rug for the Rector’s office.

Tutta Palin 2024

Consistory meeting minutes, 3 November 1921.

Hagelstam, Katja, Tuija Möttönen, Kati Kivimäki and Anna-Lisa Amberg, eds. Eric O. W. Ehrström (1881–1934). Helsinki: Kustannus W. Hagelstam, 1998.

Hänninen, Helena, ed. Olli & Bucklan. Olga Gummerus-Ehrström ja Eric O. W. Ehrström. Serlachius-museoiden julkaisuja 57. Helsinki: Parvs, 2019.

Jäntere, Kaarlo. Turun yliopiston perustaminen. Helsinki: Oy. Suomen kirja, 1942.

Ojanen, Marjatta. “Porin naiset hankkivat yliopistolle lipun.” Satakunnan Kansa, 8 April 1984.

“Porin naiset ja Turun suomalaisen yliopiston lippu.” Satakunnan Kansa, 9 January 1922.

“Turun Suomalainen Yliopisto vihittiin eilen suurin juhlallisuuksin. Arvokas, onnistunut sivistysjuhla vanhassa kulttuurikaupungissa. Uusia, huomattavia lahjoituksia yliopistolle. Satakunnan Kansan Turkuun lähettämän edustajan kuvaus.” Satakunnan Kansa, 13 May 1927.

Turun Yliopiston Vuosikirja 1927. Turku: University of Turku, 1928.