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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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Posts: 683

PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 2:59 pm    Post subject: Swedish heraldic question         Reply with quote

Maybe a stupid question, but I have to know....

In the film "Arn", the two competing families, the Eriksson's have a crown on their shield, while the competing Sverkersson's have a griffin, as seen here on the right:


These two charges are now (2010) well known Swedish symbols.

The crown is for instance used in the Swedish air force roundel:


Whereas the griffin is/was used by Scania and SAAB:


So, now my question: were these charges indeed used by these rival factions, or is this simply artistic license?
If it's true, then I have to say that I find these pictures rather funny. Big Grin


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H. Bjornsson




Location: Sweden
Joined: 28 Jan 2010
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Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue 09 Nov, 2010 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello there! Longtime lurker, first time poster trying to learn a bit about WMA and weapons which I don't know much about. This though, I know just a little about.

The griffin figures in the SAAB logo because SAAB merged with the lorrymaker Scania, founded in and named after the southern swedish province (or landskap as we call them) Skåne, of which Scania is the latin name and the griffin has been Skånes heraldic weapon since the 17th century, inspired by the city of Malmö which had it since the 15th century. So no relation to Arn here. But Skåne isn't the only landskap in Sweden to have the griffin in their heraldry, both Södermanland and Östergötland have it, but both I think were created for the funeral of Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. That said, is it really a griffin and not a lion? The landskap of Västergötland where the story is set has this heraldry which has been used by people in that area in various forms since the 13th century apparently. Might be an allusion to that.

As for the three crows, they've represented the crown/state for ages. I've heard that they represent the thrones of Scania, Sweden and Norway which Magnus Eriksson held (or claimed to hold) in the 14th century. But apparently it might be older still. Perhaps they represent the holy trinity? Or are just nice?

Anyway, might be wrong, but I think it's mostly artistic license.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Tue 09 Nov, 2010 3:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks! How old is heraldry in Sweden anyway?
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