IN PICTURES: 'New era' as Nato flag hoisted outside Swedish parliament

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
IN PICTURES: 'New era' as Nato flag hoisted outside Swedish parliament
King Carl XVI Gustaf and a group of protesters in the background. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

'Sweden wants peace,' said King Carl XVI Gustaf as he spoke at a flag-hoisting ceremony outside the Swedish parliament to mark his country's Nato membership.


“A new piece of Swedish history is being written,” said the King in his speech on Monday.

“We have left behind the military freedom of alliance founded under Karl XIV Johan,” he added. "A new era of security policy has begun."

Sweden applied to join Nato following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, King Carl XVI Gustaf, parliamentary speaker Andreas Norlén, Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Micael Bydén, among others. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

The King said that Sweden’s membership would contribute to regional stability, but wasn’t targeted at anyone.

“Sweden wants peace. Thus wrote my grandfather, Gustav VI Adolf, and Prime Minister Tage Erlander to Swedish citizens in the 1960s. That’s still the case today. Sweden threatens no one. Sweden wants peace,” he said.

The Nato flag flying next to the Swedish flag and the EU flag outside parliament. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, speaker of parliament Andreas Norlén and military supreme commander Micael Bydén also attended the ceremony on Monday, alongside members of parliament, government ministers and several party leaders.

US ambassador Erik D Ramanathan and Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, director-general of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Across the water, outside the Royal Palace, a group of around 20 people held up banners and loudly chanted “no to Nato”.

Demonstrators holding signs reading Free Palestine; Sweden doesn't need Nato for peace – Nato needs Sweden for war; No to Nato; No to war crimes club Nato. Photo: Samuel Steén/TT

The war in Ukraine and Sweden's Nato application has not only boosted support for Nato, but also for peace movements.

The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (Svenska freds) has more than doubled its membership in two years, from just over 6,000 in February 2022 to 15,000 at the start of March 2024, reported regional public radio broadcaster P4 Jönköping earlier on Monday.



The Swedish branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Internationella kvinnoförbundet för fred och frihet) has grown by 35 percent since January 2022, and the Christian Peace Movement (Kristna fredsrörelsen) grew by 12 percent in 2023.

According to Kerstin Bergeå, chair of Svenska freds, which is against Nato membership, a total of 200 new members signed up on the same day that Hungary ratified Sweden's application.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also