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Church of Norway

Den Norske Kirke

Last modified: 2007-02-10 by phil nelson
Keywords: church of norway | cross | st. olav axe |
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[Church of Norway]
image by Jan Oskar Engene, 31 May 2006

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At is an article about the Bishop of Oslo and an accompanying photo showing a red flag with a gold cross botonny superimposed on two axes. Wikipedia calls that design the crest [sic] of the Church of Norway.
Ned Smith, 30 May 2006

Alexander von Volborth in his 'Heraldry of the World' (1973) [vvb73] gives the arms of Olav Engelbrektson (1480-1538), last Catholic archbishop of Norway. Quarters 1 and 4 contain the above arms, however, the cross is silver (p. 138, ill. no. 749).
Jan Mertens, 30 May 2006

The arms and flag of the Church of Norway were approved by the Crown Prince Regent's Resolution of 28. September 1990. The official government adoption (by the Crown Prince Regent in state council because of HM King Olav's illness at the time) reflects that the Church of Norway is a established or state church, the Evangelical Lutheran religion being the official state religion according to the constitution and with the King as the head of the church.

The arms and flag had been in unofficial use before the formal adoption in 1990. The emblem was recommended by the bishop's conference as early as 1922 and 1923 and again in 1963 and 1965. The design is by heraldist Hallvard Trętteberg and is based on the emblem used by (Catholic) archbishops of Nidaros in the first part of the 1500's. The emblem combines the Christian cross with the axe of St. Olav, the patron saint of Norway.

In anticipation of approval by royal resolution regulations on the use of the arms of the Church of Norway were adopted by the Church Council on 8. June 1990. In these regulations the ratio of the flag is defined as 1 : 1,2 - or in other words 5 : 6. The regulations are available at
Jan Oskar Engene, 31 May 2006