Coat of arms of Gothenburg
Coat of arms of Gothenburg consists of images from Sweden's great coat of arms and is meant to symbolize the city as Sweden's western defence. The lion is from the arms of the Folkunga dynasty, which in the 17th Century was considered to be the arms of Götaland and it holds the arms of Sweden, three crowns, defending this with a sword. The oldest description of the arms is from a privilege letter from 1607.
The lion in the arms of Gothenburg is turned to heraldic left. This was originally probably made by mistake, but due to its long tradition the lion has remained in this position. An animal facing left is symbolizing someone fleeing, while one facing right would symbolize attack. The left facing version was eventually decided by Royal decision in 1952, in spite of protests from Riksheraldikerämbetet. It may be noted that the Gothenburg-based football club IFK Göteborg has the lion turned to the other side in its logo which is based on the city arms.
- Clara Nevéus and Bror Jacques de Wærn: Ny svensk vapenbok, Streiffert, Stockholm 1992, p. 70
- C.G.U. Scheffer: Svensk vapenbok för landskap, län och städer, Stockholm 1967, p. 46
- Per Andersson: Heraldiska vapen i Sverige, Mjölby 1989, p. 40
- Jönsson, Ingemar; Josephson, Åke, eds. (2004). IFK Göteborg 1904–2004: en hundraårig blåvit historia genom elva epoker. Göteborg: IFK Göteborg. p. 241. ISBN 91-631-4659-2.