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Vardo, Finmark


Last modified: 2015-10-30 by zoltán horváth
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[No flag approved.]

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About arms and flag in Vardø

Vardø municipality is situated in Finnmark county

Vardø is one of the towns of Finnmark. In Norway, many towns and cities acquired arms before heraldry started to be officially regulated, or did so before the current heraldic regime went into force in the early 1930's. This results in a situation in which many cities and towns have a coat of arms that is complex and unheraldic, whereas rural municipalities have simple arms and flags respecting heraldic principles. The arms of towns and cities sometimes also lack official approval, which, strictly speaking, means that it is illegal for the municipality to fly a flag based on the arms.

In the case of Vardø a coat of arms was introduced in 1898. Borders in the national colours – red, white, and blue – frame the shield and the centre field shows a complex scene incorporating a sun with rays, two sailing boats with crews, the sea with waves and a large cod. In the chief we find the year of the town's foundation, 1787, together with the legend "VARDÖENSIS INSIGNIA URBIS", meaning "the seal of the town of Vardø". In the lower part of the arms, we find the town motto: "CEDANT TENEBRAE SOLI", i.e. "Darkness shall give way to the sun." According to municipal regulations, the arms may be used as a flag. However, it is not clear whether this means that flag is simply the arms in square or rectangular form, or whether the shield is put against a field of some colour. Several towns and cities that do not have officially approved flags resort to this kind of "arms on a bed sheet" solution.

An image of Vardø's arms can be found at:

· [cjo87].
· "Retningslinjer for bruk av Vardø bys våpen" at URL
Jan Oskar Engene, 30 April 2002