[Scriptoris] Swedish Heraldic Lion issue

Hillary Greenslade hillaryrg at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 14 15:01:26 PST 2007

>From the Medieval Trivia list, by way of the Calon list, 
  Army castrates heraldic lion
Published: 13 Dec 07 12:34 CET
Online: <http://www.thelocal .se/9398/>http://www.thelocal .se/9398/

Protests from female soldiers have led to the 
Swedish military removing the penis of a heraldic 
lion depicted on the Nordic Battlegroup' s coat of arms.

The armed forces agreed to emasculate the lion 
after a group of women from the rapid reaction 
force lodged a complaint to the European Court of 
Justice, Göteborgs-Posten reports.

But although the army was eventually happy to 
make the changes in the interests of gender 
equality, the artist who designed the insignia was less than pleased.

"A heraldic lion is a powerful and stately figure 
with its genitalia intact and I cannot approve an 
edited image," Vladimir A Sagerlund from the 
National Archives told Göteborgs-Posten.

Sagerlund blasted the army for making changes to 
the coat of arms without his permission.

"The army lacks knowledge about heraldry. Once 
upon a time coats of arms containing lions 
without genitalia were given to those who betrayed the Crown," said Sagerlund.

But the castrated lion has already won the day 
and is now worn on the arms of all soldiers in 
the battle group's Swedish battalions.

"We were given the task of making sure the willy 
disappeared, " Christian Braunstein from the 
army's 'tradition commission' told Göteborgs-Posten.

"We were forced to cut the lion's willy off with 
the aid of a computer," he added.

The Nordic Battlegroup is one of eighteen such 
military groups in the European Union. Some 2,000 
of its 2,400 soldiers come from Sweden, with the 
rest coming from Finland, Norway, Ireland and Estonia. 

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