A sculpture and flags outside the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on April 4, 2023. Finland became the 31st member state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization the same day. (LEHTIKUVA / EMMI KORHONEN)

On April 4, Finland became the newest member of NATO. At a ceremony outside NATO headquarters in Brussels, the blue and white Finnish flag joined the flags of the 30 other NATO nations.

“The era of nonalignment in our history has come to an end. A new era begins,” said Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.  

“This is really an historic day. It’s a great day for the alliance,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “From today, 31 flags will fly together as a symbol of our unity and solidarity.”