Let’s start with language; Åland is a province of Finland. In Finland there are two official languages, Finnish and Swedish – except in Åland, where there is only one; wait for it; SWEDISH!
In fact, if the Finnish Parliament passes any legislation that has any bearing on Åland, they must inform the Åland Assembly in Swedish.
Other than this, Åland has far more separation than normally applies to an autonomous province. When the post first-world-war League of Nations, a body with a reputation for not making binding decisions, made the decision, against the wishes of Ålanders, that Åland should belong to Finland rather than Sweden, they also made some important stipulations.
The most important was the decision that Åland should remain demilitarised and neutral. Hence, although Finland is a member of Nato and Finns generally are liable for a year’s military service, those born on Åland or legally accepted as Ålanders are exempt!
Furthermore 197land has its own flag, stamps and radio station. I am uploading a photo showing the flag of Åland occupying the centre position between those of Finland and Sweden.
While searching for the traffic site for my tip, I found http://www.aland.ax/alandinbrief/innehall.htm, which gives far more information on the above matters and others.
over 6 years ago