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Ingria (Russia)

Inkeri

Last modified: 2011-10-21 by andrew weeks
Keywords: ingria | inkeri | inkerinmaa | ingermanland | finland | cross: scandinavian (blue) |
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Ingrian flag
image by António Martins, 08 Jun 1999

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Description of the flag

The colours were taken from the Ingrian arms of Swedish times: Yellow-red-blue. The proportions were 22:36 (8-1-4-1-8:10-1-4-1-20), acording to Anderson [and92] and [and94]. There are still a few Ingrians left in Russia (829 in the 1989 Soviet census), and active emigré communities in Finland, so the flag might still be in use.
Jan Oskar Engene, 20 Mar 1996

The Ingrian flag (which was official when the Ingrians had some authonomy in the 1920s and 30s) being yellow with a blue scandinavian cross with red finbrations; colours taken from the old arms of Ingria.
Elias Granqvist, 25 Aug 2000

This flag, with medium blue cross, is listed under number 83 at the chart Flags of Aspirant Peoples [eba94] as: «Ingria [Inkeri] (Ingrians) - St Petersburg’s area, West Russia».
Ivan Sache, 15 Sep 1999 and 28 Apr 2000


Presentation of Ingria

Ingria is the area southwest of St. Petersburg in Russia. The area belonged to Sweden between 1617 and 1721, and was populated by “good Swedes” moved in from Finland (Karelia). Consequently, the area had a Finnish speaking population. Most of them fled to Finland after the wars between Finland and the USSR. After the first World War, however, the area gained limited self rule within Russia, and a flag was adopted.
Jan Oskar Engene, 20 Mar 1996

Ingermanland is the Swedish name for the former province. The Ingrians themselves call the place Inkeri. The language is very close to Finnish, but is I believe categorised separately rather than as a dialect. So far as I know there are only about 400 native speakers left so that puts them in the same category as the Livs (another Finno-Ugric nation).
James Oates, 13 Aug 1999

In Ingermanland, which name is of Scandinavian origin (Finnish Inkerinmaa - the land of Princess Ingrid), live around Petersburg till Lake Ladoga and southwest till Jamburg [Narva-Joesuu?] the Lutheran Äyrämöiset and Savakot in small groups next to each other. Their forebears migrated here probably in the 14th century and later out of south Karelia and south Finland.
Jarig Bakker, 25 Aug 2000, quoting from Die Völker Europas, by Georg Buschan, c. 1910

Ingria is not the same area as the parts of Finnish Karelia ceded in 1940. Rather it was the coastal strip between Estonia and Finland (pre-1940 boundary), roughly contiguous to the St. Petersburg / Leningrad province but not quite as extensive into the hinterland. I also recall once reading in a reference book (possibly an old copy of the Encyclopedia Brittanica) that as late as the 1890s some 90% of the rural population of St. Petersburg government [meaning "province"] was Finnish-speaking, as was some 10% of the city’s population. From that point though, rapid industrialisation appears to have cemented the Russification of the area. As I understand it, Stalin had the remaining Ingrians deported during the 30s. Have they now returned in sufficient numbers to agitate for changes? I also recall reading that at the end of the Winter War, when the Finnish population in the ceded areas was given a week to decide whether to decamp to the remainder of Finland or stay and become Soviet citizens, all but a handful left.
Roy Stilling, 18 Sep 1995

The only active Ingrian group I’m aware of is an emigré group operating in Finland itself. But my information of them dates from before the collapse of the USSR, so things may have changed.
Stuart Notholt, 19 Sep 1995


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