Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view

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Flag Day at the Presidential Palace

One of the few advantages of a wet windy day is that flags are well displayed. Here at the Lithuanian Presidential Palace next to Vilnius university you can see a full set. The Presidential standard on the building itself with the EU flag, the national flag, and the NATO flag in front of the building.

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Show of solidarity with Ukraine

I was walking down Gedimino pr and noticed that the Marks & Spencer store was flying two flags. The national flags of Lithuania and of Ukraine, two former soviet republics.DSC00097

As a Brit with friends in both countries I was quite proud of M & S doing this.

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Day of Mourning and Hope in Vilnius

P1010184One of the first things I saw on my last visit as I made my way up past the Presidential Palace (Prezidentura) was a military flag party. They were raising and  lowering the national flags accompanied by the sound of a single side drum.

DSC01105DSC01112It was only the following day that I realised that all the  flags in the city were at half-staff (or half-mast if the flags are on ships) so I thought someone famous had died in Lithuania.

Then a Lithuanian colleague told me that it was for the Day of Mourning and Hope (Gedulo ir Vilties Diena).

This commemorates the date – 14 June 1941 – when the soviets started deporting Lithuanian families to the Gulags in Siberia. 

So Lithuanians remember and mourn an event from their recent past and hope it will never happen again.

Background: In 1998 the then President set up The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania. (For statistical details of the deportations click here).

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Flag day in Vilnius

DSCN1471This view from the cathedral square in Vilnius shows part of the cathedral on the left and the newly renovated Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in the centre.

200px-Coat_of_Arms_of_Lithuania.svgThe Lithuanian national flag is flying from Gediminas’ Tower in the background and the one flying over the palace is not the flag of Vilnius (which has a yellow band running mid-way across it) but looks like the Lithuanian coat of arms, or that of the Grand Dukes, both of which feature Vytis the mounted night.