Estonian District Selects Giant Pot Leaf for New Flag Design
Cannabis is still illegal in Estonia, but that didn’t stop 80% of the public in the newly established Kanepi district from voting for a green flag dominated by an unmistakable leaf to represent them.
Published on March 16, 2018

A recently created municipal district in the small European nation of Estonia is making its newfound political sovereignty count. Recently, the district's residents voted to establish its local flag and coat of arms as — what else? — a picture of a giant weed leaf.

According to the BBC, residents of Kanepi, a rural district in the country's southeast corner, selected the stylized pot leaf graphic from a pool of 24 competing ideas. Over 12,000 of the municipality's 15,000 residents backed the ganja-centric design.

Like the rest of the European Union, adult-use cannabis is illegal in Estonia, but with a long history of industrial hemp farming in the Kanepi region ("Kanep" is the Estonian word for cannabis), local officials have fully embraced the indica iconography.

"Cannabis has been used as a heraldic symbol for a long time," local government official Gert Uiboaed told BBC. "It is up to the local government to decide exactly what symbols and ideas they want."

It's not clear if Kanepi officials or residents plan to petition the Estonian federal government to get back into the industrial hemp production industry, but if not, we're guessing the rural community could start an entirely new lane of economic development through flag sales alone. (We know we'll be ordering one…)

Final approval for the dank design is still needed from the district's Rural Municipality Council, but with Kanepi Mayor Andrus Seeme already expressing support for the democratically-selected art, it appears only a matter of time before pot leaf flags signal more than college dorms and dispensary stock rooms.

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Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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