Sunday, 10 May 2009

My latest article: The Norwegian Royal Arms

In the new issue of Heraldisk Tidsskrift (volume 10, issue 99, dated March 2009), which has just arrived from the printers, I have a short article on the change to the Royal Arms of Norway when the union with Sweden was dissolved in 1905.
My article is a commentary to a longer article on the same subject by Hans D. Cappelen in Heraldisk Tidsskrift, volume 10, number 94, dated October 2006, where he identified the Norwegian art historian Harry Fett and the Danish archivist and heraldist Anders Thiset as those who worked out the new coats of arm for the state and the royal house, which were then designed by Eilif Peterssen. Cappelen also addressed the question of why the new king’s family heraldry was not included in the royal arms.
Based on the diaries of the historian Yngvar Nielsen, which I read in the National Library some years ago, I can add that Professor Nielsen was approached by the Norwegian government in July 1905 and asked to assist in this issue. Nielsen suggested that one should use the red flag with the golden lion carrying the golden axe of St Olav which had been the emblem of the medieval kings of Norway, but was unable to find a way to include the Bernadotte arms in it.
Nielsen was then under the impression that Oscar II would accept the Norwegian Parliament’s proposal to make a Bernadotte prince King of Norway, but as we know it was in the end a Danish prince who assumed the Norwegian throne. Yngvar Nielsen’s proposal was accepted and in the picture we can see the Royal Standard fluttering above the Royal Palace in Oslo and the equestrian statue of King Carl XIV Johan.
A link to Heraldisk Tidsskrift’s website:

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