The heraldic lion of Finland
The coat of arms of Finland displays a crowned lion standing on a red field. The lion holds a raised sword in its right gauntleted fore leg and is trampling a curved sabre. The lion, the crown and the sword and sabre handles are gold, as are the gauntlet joints. The blades and the gauntlet are silver. The field is adorned by nine silver roses. The coat of arms was originally created around the year 1580, but it was not until 1978 that legislation was passed concerning Finland’s coat of arms. This legislation gives the official blazon and prohibits the sale of the national coat of arms, subject to fine.
The Finnish coat of arms appears on the state flag, official seals, coins, banknotes and postage stamps. On the President’s car it takes the place of an ordinary registration plate. The design has been used on several Finnish coins over the years, for example on the 1 markka coins between 1964 and 2001.