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Heraldry of the World
Heraldik av verden
Norwegian heraldry portal
Norsk Heraldik


Province : Vestfold og Telemark (until 2020 Telemark)
Additions : 1964 Gjerpen, Solum

Arms of Skien
Official blazon


The arms as shown above are derived from the oldest known seal of the city, dating from 1609. The seal shows two skis and in the middle a cross, with a small star on the crosspoint. The skis are a canting element, the cross a religious symbol. There have been several theories about the meaning of the cross, but its meaning is not clearly known. It has been suggested that it is a symbol for the main church in Skien, the Holy Cross church. The small star may be a symbol of St.Mary as the second medieval church of Skien was devoted to St. Mary. Besides the skis there are two flowers, which are identified as Soleier (upright meadow buttercup).

A second seal, from 1680, shows the same symbols, the flower decorations on the seal, however are rather different. This seal was in use for around 200 years.


The seals of 1609 and 1680

In 1854 the arms were shown as two skis, but the cross was now made from ski-poles, as another canting element. This remained so until the early half of the 20th century.

In the 1980s the city officially adopted the above arms, which are identical to the oldest seal. The colours are the colours that have been used since the 19th century. The differences between the seal and the present arms are that in the arms the cross is placed on top of the skis and the star is changed from a four-pointed star to a six-pointed star, and that the cross is made of ski-poles.

Arms of Skien

The arms in the Coffee Hag album +/- 1930
Arms of Skien

The arms by Ströhl in 1905.
Arms of Skien

The arms in 1854 by Kaltenborn
Arms of Skien

The arms in 1891 (image from Hans Capellen)
Seal of Skien

The seal from 1881 (image from Hans Capellen)
Arms of Skien

The arms in 1933 (image from Hans Capellen)
Arms of Skien

The arms in the town hall (image from Hans Capellen)
Arms of Skien

The arms on a manhole cover

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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink

Literature : Norwegian Municipal Network and Norske Kommunevåpen, Kommunalforlaget, 1987.