Swedish Heraldists Want Penis Back

A quote from The Local (Sweden), 21 February 2008

Sweden’s chief heraldists remain dissatisfied with a decision by the Nordic Battlegroup to remove a lion’s penis depicted on its coat of arms. […] [T]he Commander of the Nordic Battlegroup, Karl Engelbrektsson, revealed that it was he who he had ordered the alteration. This ran contrary to initial reports suggesting that the emasculation occurred following pressure from female soldiers. In an interview with Sveriges Radio, the Commander said he decided to give the lion the snip having read UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

With civilian women often falling victim to sexual abuse in the war zones of the world, the Commander said he did not consider the male appendage an appropriate symbol for his troops to wear into battle. But heraldic artist Vladimir A Sagerlund was dismayed at what he viewed as an alarming lack of historical awareness. In former times, he said, coats of arms containing lions without genitalia were given to those who betrayed the Swedish Crown.

And as [state heraldist Henrik Klackenberg] points out, the heraldry unit would have no qualms about making alterations to the original image if requested to do so by the military. “We could make the dimensions a bit smaller, for example. Once we were commissioned to create a similar symbol for Swedish Customs. When they thought it was a bit much they sent it back to us and we just shrank the organ,” said Klackenberg.

Swedish gelding 

Much Ado About Nothing

I can't help but be amused when I read a story such as this one.  Here's why:

I recently had the opportunity to inspect closely a 19C gold ten Kroner coin with the bust of Christain X, Konge af Sveriges and Norges.  On the back side of this coin was the lion, penis and all.  So this is nothing new, and it's hard to take Scandinavian pretenses at prudery seriously.

I haven't been to Sweden since the mid 1980's, when I was attached to NATO in the US Navy.  But even back then Sweden in particular had a reputation as being sexually libertine.  Sex was viewed by my fellow sailors as being something of a national sport there.

I certainly don't want to tell Swedes how to run their country.  But I find the total absence of any sense of irony whatsoever to be odd.  Isn't an exquisite sense of irony supposed to be a central value of postmodern Europe?



Perhaps somebody out there will 'photoshop' this image for us. I'd love to see it.Maybe the whole thing will take on a life of its own and eventually become as famous as the Danish cartoons,minus the violence of course.




I think you're on to something there.  

I'd go with replacing the right hand sword with a limp wrist and a purse in the left hand.

Or would the left hand on the hip be better? Hmmm, Perhaps it might be. And to be truly representative of contemporary Sweden, the fighting spirit of Hans Blix also needs to be worked into it somehow. A wet spot on those panties that you suggested perhaps?

But keep the fingernail and toenail polish. That works.

@ Karl

Let's face it,this story is essentially about pr*cks and who possesses the biggest one,the heraldic lion or the Swedish military itself.So,Charlie boy,why not go the whole hog? How? First,you might consider removing the sword from the lion's right 'hand' and perhaps replacing it with a lady's handbag.Next,place the lion's left paw on its hip and a pair of underpants,suitably emblazoned with the CND logo,on its head.