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The Swedish Three Crowns

Swedish three crowns

Around the world Sweden is recognized by its three golden crowns on a background of blue.You will find it on a coat of arms, cuff links, clothing etc. Historians have searched for the origin and meaning of the three crowns.Researchers felt they were used by heathen gods and others felt they represented the three surrounding areas of the capital that had the right to participate in the election of the king. It came down to the three crowns were simply accepted to be the symbols of the Three Holy Kings who came to praise the birth of Christ.

In 1364 , King Albrekt adopted a blue shield with three gold crowns as the Swedish coat of arms. This was accepted to be the earliest occurrence of the three crowns as a symbol for Sweden, until a French find in the 1970’s put this right. This was in connection with the renovation of the palace of the Cardinal of Bayonne in Avignon in southern France.When an inner ceiling was removed and revealed a fresco from a papal Holy War conference held in the palace in March,1336. On the fresco in strict heraldic order were depicted the 48 crests of the Christian Kingdoms represented at the conference.As the fresco was significantly damaged only 26 of the crests were identifiable, but among them there is a clear depiction of a Swedish coat of arms with the three crowns against a blue background.

This clearly indicated that it was King Magnus Erickson who first used the three crowns as he was at that time King of Sweden Norway and Scania. To-day, even though heraldry is considered by some as being antiquated, cities and towns in Europe and around the world still make use of the symbols. In the writer’s opinion I would accept that the three crowns represented the three wise men, or Kings going to see the birth of Jesus. When you look at Swedish folklore you do see a lot of religious connotations especially in country folk art. (This information came from the magazine “Swedish Press” March 9/08).