Estonian tricolor is hoisted in Toompea

to map

24. February 1918

Salvation committee declared Estonia a democratic republic in the halls of Credit Bank.

Taking advantage of the leave of Bolsheviks, Estonian troops and Home Guard began to take over different offices and establishments, including Balti Jaan railway station, central telegraph, State Bank and the head quarters of the Red Guard, located in present-day Estonia Puiestee Street.

In the morning of February 23, officers of 3. Estonian Division hoisted national tricolor to the flag tower in Toompea. Konstantin Konik ordered the independence manifest to be printed in a print house, and around noon it was pasted on the streets.

In the afternoon of February 24, Konstantin Päts and Jüri Vilms were brought to the rooms of Credit Bank at Estonia Puiestee Street. They were brought from the hideout at Tartu Road, in a car covered with Estonian flag.
There, Konrad Rotschild, Tallinn's Commandant, read the "Manifesti kõigile Eestimaa rahvastele" ("Manifest to All the Nations in Estonia") to the crowd gathered in front of the bank. Members of the Salvation Committee appointed the Provisional Government inside the bank (see image).

Credit Bank building

Estonia was declared neutral in the current war, minorities were granted cultural autonomy, all personal- and citizenship rights were announced. With Daily Order no.1 all Soviet offices were ordered to be closed and Estonians citizens were prohibited to participate in Russian-German war. Daily Order no 2 ordered the manifest to be read out in all schools and churches; Daily Order no 3 obliged all property expropriated by Soviet rule to be returned to owners. On the same day, Estonian independence was declared in Viljandi which had been liberated a day earlier.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Õie Elango, Ants Ruusmann ja Karl Siilivask. Eesti maast ja rahvast: Maailmasõjast maailmasõjani. Tallinn: Olion, 1998
Eesti ajalugu: kronoloogia. Tallinn: Olion, 2007
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.                                                                                                  Image source:


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