Two Swedish heralds in the funeral procession of King Johann III in 1594.

Sweden - Heraldry

There are coats of arms for various organisations in Sweden, such as the Navy, Army, Military, Air Force, Home Guards and even the Church of Sweden, and with the Church of Sweden having many dioceses and parishes with their own coats of arms.

Each of Sweden's 21 counties (geographical division of the country) has its own coat of arms. Since 1963, the Instrument of Government began use of the modern counties of Sweden, instead of the provinces. However the provinces all have the right to the rank of duchy and may display their arms with a dual coronet, due to royal decree in January 1884 by King Oscar II.

The 290 municipalities in Sweden each have their own coat of arms. Generally a number of municipalities create a county. Since a local government reform in the 1960s–1970s, all cities have to be part of a municipality. As each city has its own coat of arms, there are a large amount of emblems to acknowledge. The city arms often are incorporated into the coat of arms of the municipality it falls under. Some municipalities have been created by combining smaller communities, which led in some cases to the municipal coat of arms consisting of parts, each derived from one of the communities

Other municipalities also lacked historical cities within them, and this municipal coat of arms were designed as completely new. Municipalities which carry the name of a city traditionally display a mural crown on top of their coat of arms;there are some exceptions to this. Although there are not any laws forbidding other municipalities from using the mural crown, it is customarily reserved for those bearing former city arms. The first city to establish city arms, was Kalmar in the year of 1247. While Stockholm, Skara and Örebro were among the first cities in Sweden to establish city coats of arms. There are some regulations in the design of the municipal coats of arms, such as they may not have any colours (tinctures) other than argent (silver/silvery white), gules (red), azure (bright blue sky), sable (black) and vert (green).

During the Middle Ages, heraldic arms in Sweden were granted by the Royal Council, and then in 1660 this role was granted to the College of Antiquities. The office of the National Herald was responsible for preparing municipal arms and the royal arms of Sweden before 1953. Since then these duties are performed by the Heraldry Board of the National Archives, including the State Herald (Statsheraldiker). To register new municipal arms, the municipality has to submit its proposal to both the National Archives Heraldry Board (which consults and renders an opinion) and to the PRV for registration. It is only after the board has completed its consultation process and provided a warrant of arms, that the prospective arms are warranted and may then be registered by the PRV and implemented and official recognised by the municipality. The heraldic arms registered by counties and by military and other government bodies are also managed by the National Archives Heraldry Board and the PRV.

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