The leaves of the tree are in the colours of the flags of the three Baltic nations. On the reverse of both coins is a map; the graphic elements in the map encode the colours of Lithuania’s tricolour in heraldic symbols.
“The Baltic Way was a peaceful message from the three nations of their determination to be free from the yoke of bondage and proof that we can unite for the sake of a common goal. In issuing these coins we stress the importance of the event in our road towards Independence and it acts as a reminder that the freedom that we won is a value that we together must always unconditionally protect and cherish,” said Vitas Vasiliauskas, chairman of the board of the Bank of Lithuania, during the coin presentation event which took place in the Gediminas Castle Tower – this was the location where the Baltic Way, a human chain across the three countries, began a quarter of a century ago.
“This action will remain in the history of mankind as one of the most impressive testimonies of how peace can overcome the most powerful machine of violence,” wrote Dr Česlovas Laurinavičius in the pamphlet issued with the coins.
Almost a quarter of a decade ago, on 23 August 1989, at 7 p.m. local time, a living chain stretched from Vilnius (Gediminas Hill) through Riga (Freedom Monument) to Tallinn (Toompea Castle) and stayed for about 15-20 minutes. It connected almost 2 million people; in Lithuania – about a million.
Due to its historical significance and uniqueness, the Baltic Way is included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.