The flag of Estonia (Eesti lipp) is a tricolour featuring three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black (middle), and white (bottom). In Estonian it is colloquially called the sinimustvalge (blue-black-white).
The tricolour was already in wide use as the symbol of Estonia and Estonians when the Republic of Estonia became a fully independent country in 1918. Formally, the sinimustvalge became the national flag by the decision of the Estonian Provisional Government on 21 November 1918, and the parliament later reconfirmed the flag's official status with a law in 1922.
The tricolour was publicly used as the national flag until the first year of World War II when the Soviet Red Army invaded Estonia in June 1940. Following the occupation and annexation of Estonia by the USSR in August 1940, the new Stalinist regime banned the Estonian flag, and its use as well as any use of its blue, black and white colour combination became punishable by laws of the Soviet Union. The national flag