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Holmestrand, Vestfold (Norway)

Last modified: 2021-08-25 by christopher oehler
Keywords: holmestrand | vestfold |
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flag of Odda image by Tomislav Šipek, 27 February 2017

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About the flag

This site tells us:
"... The town arms were approved by the Council of State on 14 November 1898, but first on 23 July 1981 the municipality received the right to use the town arms as town flag. ... The design in our town arms is an eagle of silver on a field of red. The "heart shield" of the eagle is the frigate "White Eagle", pictured in silver on a field of blue.
The right claw of the eagle holds an anchor of gold; this symbolises that Holmestrand is a 400 year old maritime town.
The eagle holds in its left claw a rod of Asclepius, as the symbol of the god of medicine in the Greek Mythology. The snake rod represents the town's spa, which was established in 1840. ...
Published by Janne M. Wigdal. Last changed 02.06.2010 "
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 12 January 2011

Here is flag and coat of arms of Holmestrand.
Tomislav Šipek, 29 January 2016

Coat of Arms

[COA of Odda] image by Tomislav Šipek, 29 January 2016

Blazon: På rød bunn en sølv, flakt ørn som i høyre klo holder et gull anker og i venstre en gull æskulapstav. I blått hjerteskjold en sølv fregatt.
In English: Gules an eagle displayed argent holding in dexter an anchor or and in sinister a rod of Aesculapius also or and in an inescutcheon azure a frigate argent.
(BTW, the shield should have a golden mural crown.)
Approved by the royal resolution of 14 November 1898 after a drawing by Andreas Bloch. The flag was approved subsequently of matching design by the royal resolution of 23 July 1981.
Sources: [c2j87] and
From the municipal web site, the city administration adopted the design on 1 November 1898 after Bloch's proposal. Unlike many other Norwegian municipal arms, this one is in a rectangular shield and includes much more details.
- the mural crown was newly introduced in Norway in 1890's and is used only by a few cities
- the frigate depicted is the "Hvide Ørn" - white eagle, named after the white eagle in the arms.
- the arms stand for the 400 years old port
- the rod stands for medicine, i.e. the spa established there in 1840 (closed in 1950's)
[c2j87] also explains that the city arms were inspired by the East Indian merchant Johan Heinrich Tordenskiold. He left his wealth in 1819 to establish a high school in Holmestran. Tordenskiold's relative, Peter owned the "Hvide Ørn" frigate that was also important in city history, and provided for the main charge in the arms. [c2j87] also shows Tordenskiold's arms in black and white drawing, quartered, a heraldic thunderbolt, an eagle displayed, two cannons in saltire with three cannonballs and a lion holding a scimitar. See coloured drawing at
Željko Heimer, 31 January 2016