Coat of arms of Finland
Little is known about the origins of the Finnish coat of arms.
The oldest known display of the emblem is on the burial monument of Gustav Vasa in Uppsala Cathedral, which was completed in the 1580s. The same design was adopted to serve as the coat of arms of the newly independent Finland in 1917. Before that, the emblem was used for the Swedish territories east of the Gulf of Bothnia until 1809 and then as the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Finland in the Russian Empire.
The Act on the Coat of Arms of Finland (381/1978) describes the emblem as follows:
"A crowned lion rampant on a red field holding a raised sword in an armoured hand replacing the animal's right front leg, and trampling a sabre with its hind legs; the lion, the crown, the hilts and the joints of the armour being in gold, and the blades of the weapons and the armour itself being of silver; nine silver rosettes being scattered in the field."
Anyone using the coat of arms of Finland in a manner that deviates significantly from the provisions of the Act, that is, "selling any emblem violating legal provisions as the arms of Finland" will be required to pay a fine.
Use of the Finnish coat of arms in the certification of documents
The Finnish coat of arms is always used in the seals and stamps of the President of the Republic and the Office of the President of the Republic; the Government; individual ministries; the Chancellor of Justice and the Office of the Chancellor of Justice; the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court; the Prosecutor General and the Office of the Prosecutor General; the Chancellor of the University of Helsinki; the Bank of Finland; the Finnish Defence Forces; the Finnish Border Guard; and Finland’s diplomatic and consular missions abroad.