Åland

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ÅLAND

Åland is an autonomous region in Finland. Established as a province in the 16th century it was abolished in 1634 and beacame part of the Turku and Pori province. In 1918 it was again re-established as a province and since 2009 it is a region of Finland with strong autonomy.

Arms of Åland

Official blazon

  • (fi) Sinisessä kentässä kävelevä kultainen saksanhirvi. Kruunu: kreivikunnan kruunu.
  • (sv) I blått fält en gående hjort av guld. Skölden krönes med grevskapets krona.

Origin/meaning

The current arms were officially granted on April 18, 1951.

The arms of the Åland islands were originally granted to the similar-sounding Swedish island province of Öland in 1560, displaying a golden red deer on a blue field. In 1569, Åland had been given to the Swedish queen dowager Katarina Stenbock as a fief and was awarded a provincial coat of arms displaying two roe deer on a field strewn with nine roses. However these were mainly used by Öland and the deer of Öland became the arms of Åland.

In the 19th century the deer was officially granted to the islands and when in 1944 the Swedish heraldic council found out about the confusion, the Finnish authorities did not want the old arms returned, but keep the arms with the deer. Öland, which had been using the arms with the two deer therefore was granted its original arms with a deer, but with a red collar, antlers and hooves. Åland still uses the single deer, which was again granted in 1951.

Aland1569.jpg

The official arms from 1569
Arms of Åland

The arms on a commemorative coin from 2011


Literature : Iltanen, 2013

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