Finnish Coats of Arms

Finnish Coats of Arms

This origin of this post comes via an old scan of a Finnish textbook I’d come across on ffffound.com (now defunct).

The scan features an intriguing selection of coats of arms representing various municipalities of Finland. These crests all share a powerful combination of both graphic and abstract elements, underpinned with a definite feel of modernism. Essentially then, far more punch than the boring traditional British heraldic crests I’m accustomed to.

Anyway, I decided It was high time to do the research so here’s selection of my favourites.

Finnish Coats of Arms - Pielisjärvi - Raahe

Pielisjärvi – Pielisjärvi is an area of North Karelia, situated on the Russian border. As with many Scandinavian Coats of Arms the endless boreal forests and creatures that inhabit them are a common theme.

The original design is credited to Tapio Vallioja (1920-2005) who designed numerous coats of arms for municipalities, communities and individuals. According to translated Finnish Wikipedia (quite well I might add) Vallioja was one of the 12 founding members of the Heraldic Society of Finland, the article describes his style as ‘clear and understated’.

Finnish Coats of Arms - Enontekiö - Olof Eriksson

Enontekiö – A community in Finland’s North West that lays above the Arctic Circle, part of the area that is considered Lapland. This design a Rock Ptarmigan on a bright blue shield, a pretty bird colloquially known in English as a ‘Snow Chicken’.