A flag-raising ceremony was held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Monday to commemorate the accession of the Kingdom of Sweden to NATO.

Sweden’s flag was raised alongside those of the other 31 Allies in a ceremony at NATO headquarters in Brussels and simultaneously at NATO commands across Europe and North America.

Sweden officially joined NATO last week by submitting its instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty to the Government of the United States in Washington, DC. This brings the total number of NATO member countries to 32 with Sweden’s inclusion. Sweden brings with it capable armed forces and a first-class defense industry.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commented last week, “This is a historic day. Sweden will now take its rightful place at NATO’s table, with an equal say in shaping NATO policies and decisions. After over 200 years of non-alignment, Sweden now enjoys the protection granted under Article 5, which is the ultimate guarantee of Allies’ freedom and security. Sweden brings with it capable armed forces and a first-class defence industry.  Sweden’s accession makes NATO stronger, Sweden safer and the whole Alliance more secure. Today’s accession demonstrates that NATO’s door remains open and that every nation has the right to choose its own path.”

Image Credit- NATO