Last modified: 2005-04-09 by phil nelson
Keywords: finland proper | varsinais-suomi | egentliga finland | helmet | flags |
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It can be noted, that the arms (and flag) of Finland Proper contain one of the earliest known images of the Swedish flag, blue with a yellow cross. In the arms the flags are in the form of lance pennants. There is an image in colour of these arms in a handwritten book from 1562, which is kept in Paris (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, latin 18410 – described extensively by Carl Nordenfalk in the article "En svensk vapenbok från år 1562" (with a summary in French) in "Meddelanden från Riksheraldikerämbetet IX", 1940 [mdd]; the image is in black and white on p. 101, the description of the arms is on p. 99). In those days, Finland Proper was called Southern Finland (and Satakunta was called Northern Finland).
The arms of Finland Proper were one of the fields in the arms given to King
Gustav I's son John (later to become King John III), when he was given a duchy
in Finland [in 1556]. It is probable, that the use of blue flags with yellow
crosses had been used even earlier, because in 1569, King John decided that all
Swedish flags used at the peace negociations with the Danes in Knäred should be
blue with a yellow cross, becasue they had been like that "as of old".
However, this is the first official decision known to state this.
Elias Granqvist, 14 March 2001
Official blazon in Finnish: "Punaisessa kentässä ristikkäin kaksi kultaista peistä; kumpaakin peitseen on kiinnitetty kaksikielekkeinen sininen lippu, jossa reunoihin ulottuva kultainen risti; peitsien päällikkeenä kruunullin en kultainen turnajaiskypärä. Kruunu: herttuakunnan kruunu."
Official blazon in Swedish: " I rött fält en krönt bygelhjälm överlagd två korslagda glavenstakar, allt av guld; vardera glavenstaken är försedd med en tvåtungad, blå flagga med kors av guld. Skölden krönes med hertigdömets krona."
Blazoned in English: "Gules, a ducally crowned tournament helmet
superimposed on two tilting-spears in saltire, all or; on each tilting-spear is
attached a two-tongued loosely hanging flag azure, charged with a Scandinavian
cross or. The shield's crown is a ducal crown."
English blazon by Lewis A. Nowitz, 15 March 2002