The table pennant of the City of Mänttä
Traditionally municipalities deal out table pennants as a tokens of appreciation. By the decision of the city council one was given to Gustaf Serlachius in December 1986. The paragraph was entitled “Gustaf Serlachius’ reassignment”.
During the year 1986, things that had a far-reaching impact on city’s future took place at Mänttä mills owned by the G. A. Serlachius Company. The rescue operation of the pulp mill resulted in a series of comprehensive restructuring measures. The most significant news at the turn of the year was the merger of Metsäliitto Industries Ltd and G. A. Serlachius Company into Metsä-Serla Ltd. Following the merger that took place on 1 January 1987, Gustaf Serlachius became the chairman of the board of Metsä-Serla Ltd.
The foreword of a municipal report written by the mayor as well as op-eds published in the local newspaper reflected the uncertain future. In fact, news that could lift the local spirits were on store already at the end of next year. Subsequently, Europe’s most efficient tissue paper machine No 1 as well as world’s fastest roller machine were decided to be built to replace the paper machine No 8 that had been in service for over 25 years.
G. A. Serlachius Company and Mänttä lived decades in close coexistence. It is probably no exaggeration to say that there would be no municipality without the mill. The 1957 municipal report of Mänttä township states: “The growth of our entire community has taken place with and alongside the only industrial combine of this region.”
Mänttä’s coat of arms designed by Olof Eriksson has been printed on the table pennant of the City of Mänttä. On receiving the rights of a township, Mänttä organized in 1949 a design competition to create the city a coat of arms. As winner was selected Eriksson’s proposal “A Wilderness Lynx”. Mänttä became a city on 1stJanuary 1973, i.e., exactly 50 years ago.
On 1 January 2009 Mänttä city merged into Vilppula municipality which subsequently formed the Town of Mänttä-Vilppula. For the new town’s coat of arms was chosen the former coat of arms of Vilppula. The choice of the coat of arms, however, gave rise for a vivid debate as late as in 2014, but the town council decided not to replace the current coat of arms with the former lynx-themed coat of arms of the City of Mänttä.
In their communication, marketing and partly also in their official documents, many municipalities have adopted various logos and emblems instead of a coat of arms or along with it. According to historian Mauri Mönkkönen, various emblems of the mill, such as GAS company’s eagle logo were used as unofficial symbols of Mänttä, before the city acquired its own coat of arms.
Nowadays, table pennants have lost some of their popularity, but have not been forgotten altogether. All in all, table pennants are much in demand, according to an article on Helsingin lipputehdas (Helsinki Flag Factory) published by Finnish Broadcasting company YLE. Beside municipalities, also societies, communities and companies still give them out as tokens of appreciation and as gifts ornamented with their own symbols.
Laurla, Kari K. (1996). Liputus (Flagging). Helsinki: Helsingin Lipputehdas (Helsinki Flag Factory).
Liputustieto (Flaggining information). Käsikirja yksityisille, yrityksille, virastoille ja kaikille liputuksesta kiinnostuneille (2017). Edited by Ahonen, Antti & Mero, Sini. Helsinki: Suomalaisuuden liitto ry.
Heraldiikan opas (A Guide to Heraldry) (1998). Edited by Kimmo Kara. Porvoo: Suomen Heraldinen Seura ry.
Mönkkönen, Mauri (1998). Mäntän historia 1948–1992 (History of Mänttä 1948–1992). Mäntän kaupunki ja Mäntän seurakunta.
Mäntän kunnan, kauppalan ja kaupungin kunnalliskertomukset vuosilta 1922–1986 (Mänttä municipality’s, township’ and city’s Municipal reports in 1922–1986).
Mänttä-Vilppulan kaupungin arkisto (Mäntän kaupunginhallituksen kokouspöytäkirja 1.12.1986; Mänttä-Vilppulan kaupunginvaltuuston kokouspöytäkirja 15.9.2014 (Mänttä town archive (Minutes of meeting of Mänttä city executive committee in 1 Dec 86 and Mänttä-Vilppula town council in 15 Sep 2014) ).
Yle 18.2.2018. Pöytäviirien valmistus ja vaihto käy edelleen vilkkaana. https://yle.fi/a/3-10051049