Friday, May 20, 2011

Norwegian National Day

Tuesday was independence day (or National Day) in the Kingdom of Norway and as the "news" tomorrow will be taken up with another subject, I wanted to take a moment to mention this and send a *salute* to the Kingdom of Norway. Like the rest of the western world, of course, they have their modern problems with secularism and liberalism but, on the whole, the Norwegians have done it right. As an ancient kingdom, gaining independence in the 20th Century, Norway has been a model to others in doing things the right way. They did not allow themselves to be shackled to the past, they became independent and from the start looked to do things in a calm, rational way to do what was best for their nation. It helped of course that they were not previously under the thumb of some brutal tyranny. They were in a union with the Kingdom of Sweden -Norway having been given to Sweden in compensation for their loss of Finland to Russia and as a punishment to Denmark (with whom Norway had previously been united) for taking sides with France.

There was no brutal war, there was no social chaos, no guillotines in the town square. The union with Sweden was dissolved and the issue was put to the public; to become a republic or a monarchy. Showing their great wisdom and common sense the Norwegian people opted for a monarchy and Prince Carl of Denmark was imported to become HM King Haakon VII of Norway, taking a name from Norwegian history to reiterate the fact that this was not a "new" nation but an ancient one resuming full independence. As it happens, they chose wisely as King Haakon VII proved in establishing good relations with all of Norway's neighbors, turning even the Norwegian republicans into monarchists and finally leading the country with great heroism during the dark days of World War II and the Nazi invasion. In the post-war era they have, as stated, suffered many of the problems that their neighbors have though, to their credit, Norwegians have refrained from joining the European Union.

HM King Harald V has been a solid and admirable constitutional monarch. Like the rest he has been obliged to go along with some less than positive changes but he had also done very praiseworthy things such as his 'behind-the-scenes' defense of the established Church of Norway (Lutheran) when the government wanted to cut all ties with Christianity in the largely secular country. The monarchy remains popular, has as strong a position going into the future as one could expect in this day and age and if they do not make the news all that often, it is only because the Norwegian royals have been pretty good about staying out of trouble. Other than one very colorful cousin (by marriage) I have no personal connection with the country, but I salute the Kingdom of Norway for their Royal Family, their history of good decisions and, I confess, especially for being the only Scandinavian country to say "no" to the European Union. Well done the Norwegians I say! I wish the Kingdom a belated happy independence day and long life to the King.


  1. Out of curiosity, why does Norway have a "lion" as an emblem? Were/are there lions in Norway?

    Just curious.

  2. Happy National Day to Norway, and long live Harald V! As far as the EU goes, a pox on the Brussels Sprouts, and kudos to Norway for keeping out!

  3. No, I'm pretty sure there's never been any lions in Norway or any of the other European countries that feature one or more on their arms. The lion has been a symbol of Norway at least since King Magnus III (around the year one thousand I think).

  4. Well the lion had previously existed in Southern Europe and in the Middle-East, but the story goes that the Roman Empire used so man of them in their arenas and for show that they vanished from that region.
    But for heraldry, lions are a symbol of strength and nobility, so many countries use it.

  5. Althought i dont like the fact of the end of personal union and my opinion that norway was already independent just with the same king...

    Long live to King Harald V and the Kingdom!

    Hi from Argentina.


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