Woman barred from getting coat of arms tattoo

A 19-year-old woman from Sölvesborg in southern Sweden has had her request for permission to get a tattoo of the national coat of arms turned down by a chief heraldist at the National Archives, local newspaper Blekinge Läns Tidning reports.

The 19-year-old explained in a letter to the public agency that she was “not a racist” and had no intention of abusing any national symbols. She was just a proud Sweden who wished to mark her patriotism with a tattoo on her wrist of the Greater National Coat of Arms or, failing that, the Swedish flag.

But in a written response to the woman, chief heraldist Henrik Klackenberg explained that the Greater National Coat of Arms was the head of state’s personal crest. Only in exceptional cases could be used by anybody other than the King, the Riksdag, the government, government ministries, foreign service representatives or the Armed Forces.

Kalckenberg added that she was free to get a tattoo of the Swedish flag, a symbol that belongs to everybody in the country.

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