Last modified: 2007-05-12 by phil nelson
Keywords: sölvesborg | blekinge | cross | eels |
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image by Rob Raeside, 8 April 2007
Source: sketch contributed by Mikael Parkvall, 13 August 2003
I visited the municipality of Sölvesborg in Blekinge, southern Sweden.
Like most other Swedish municipalities, it has a flag based on the coat of
arms. The unusual thing is that you see it all over the place (in shop
windows, etc), and it gives the impression of being more a "true" flag than
the ordinary "just-the-coat-of-arms-sewn-onto-a-piece-of-cloth" feeling
that you get elsewhere. Attached, you'll find a sketch of it.
Unfortunately, I have no idea about the proportions. The blue things in
each quadrant are eels, and their shape presumably symbolise the first
letter of the town's name. The colours may be related to those of Sweden
and Denmark (to which country the area belonged until 1658).
Mikael Parkvall, 13 August 2003
According to [nev92], the arms were granted in its present form in 1945, at the 500 year celebration of the town's privileges, given by King Kristoffer of Bayern in 1445 (who was king of Denmark, Norway and Sweden; Sölvesborg belonged to Denmark at the time). In the earliest know seal from 1535, the cross can be seen, as can three S-like symbols. When the arms where to be granted the state herald (riksheraldikern) was able to convince the politicians in the town that the S's could be interpreted as eels - Sölvesborg is at the coast and fishery has always been important - thus avoiding arms with letters.
The arms were re-registered according to new legislation in 1974. At
the time, Mjällby municipality had been merged with Sölvesborg in
1971, thus making the Mjällby arms of 1943 (featuring a potato plant
and a fish) obsolte.
Elias Granqvist, 10 April 2007