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World Civic Heraldry Guide: coats of arms and flags of cities, regions, states

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Denmark, national coat of arms

Denmark, national coat of arms

There are two versions of the Danish coat of arms, the small one now called the National Coat of Arms and the large one now called the Royal Coat of Arms. The two coats of arms are used by the royal house and state authorities as a national symbol denoting sovereignty. The National Arms are in principle the coat of arms known from the time of the Valdemars, three lions surrounded by hearts. The Royal Arms with quarterings in one shield held by savages in a pavilion and surrounded by collars of orders of chivalry, has been altered on various occasions, most recently by a royal decree in 1972. In 1959 it was decided that the Royal Arms are used by the monarch, the royal house and the court, and by the Life Guards, while other authorities are to use the National Arms. The Danish coat of arms are ensigned by a crown which was originally open, but since 1624 has been reproduced with arches and an orb with a cross above. The crown symbolises both the royal and national authority. With reproductions of the national arms in seals and on coins, and in connection with the exercise of authority, rights of succession are asserted and sovereignty of the monarch and the state as well. The national arms and the crown are legally protected against misuse. When the designation is indicated, a purveyor to the Royal Court is allowed to use the crown and a Royal Court purveyor the royal coat of arms or the crown alone.
(Source: Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affair, Nils G. Bartholdy, http://www.um.dk)

adopted (dd.mm.yyyy): 16.11.1972

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