2 March 2013

Våpenbrevet No. 88

I recently recveived the latest issue of Våpenbrevet (no. 88, vol. 39, 2013), the newsletter of Norsk Heraldisk Forening (the Norwegian Heraldry Society), and as usual the newsletter can offer many interesting articles. Heraldry is certainly not my field of expertise, so my membership gives new insight.

Interestingly enough the editor settled on Archbishop Bruno Bernard Heim (1911-2003) and his work as the main topic for the issue, which was cleverly timed considering Pope Benedict XVI's renunciation on 28 February 2013. Heim was a prominent armorist of ecclesiastical heraldry, and was responsible of designing the coat of arms of Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II. Våpenbrevet's front page shows the arms of Heim, who was titular Archbishop of Xanthus.

Another interesting article in the newsletter is the society's chairman Tom Vadholm's article Felles konger Av Norge og Sverige. Politikk, problemer og spesielle heraldiske forhold uttrykt i våpenmerkene ("Kings of both Norway and Sweden - Political facts and problems expressed in their coats-of-arms"*), which was based on the lecture he held at the XXXth International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences, which took place in Maastricht in the Netherlands in 2012. The next congress is to take place in Oslo, Norway in 2014.

*The English translation is based on the lecture title according to the program.

Updated on Tuesday 2 July 2013 at 19:50 (typo corrected).


  1. Are there many Norwegian families with coats of arms? Does the King still grant new coats of arms?

  2. The King doesn't have such a role. Norway has no official regulation of private arms. See Heraldikk.no for more details.

    I am afraid I don't know any statistics concerning the number of Norwegian families with coats of arms compared to other countries...