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North Bothnia (Sweden)


Last modified: 2021-08-25 by christopher oehler
Keywords: norrbotten | north bothnia | bothnia |
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[Flag of Norrbotten] by Jan Oskar Engene

See also:

Description of the flag

In the latest issue (No. 73) of Heraldisk tidsskrift, a Scandinavian journal of heraldry, a new flag for the province is presented. The flag is in the Swedish colours blue and yellow, with four wavy yellow bands extending from the hoist end but not reaching all the way to the fly end. As usual the flag is based on the provincial arms (the partition is described as ‘Schrägfuss' - seems there is no proper English term).

The waves represent four rivers of the province - Torne (border with Finland), Kalix, Lule and Pite - while the blue part at base represents the sea.

The flag was adopted by the county administration in April 1995, and registered in August 1995.

Source: Clara Nevéus: 'Ett nytt landskapsvapen', Heraldisk tidsskrift, (Copenhagen), No. 73, 1996, pp. 105-110
Jan Oskar Engene, 9 May 1996

Geography and Status of North Bothnia

Norrbotten is a part of Sweden, in the north on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia, right next to Finland. Historically, Norrbotten was not recognized as one of the 24 provinces, but in this century it has become more and more recognized as a separate entity.
Jan Oskar Engene, 9 May 1996

A side-comment on se-reg.html, which, anyway, presents the administrative entities of Sweden in a very clear manner: what is the exact status of North Bothnia / Norrbotten? It is listed as a sub-entity of West Bothnia / Västerbotten, but on the relevant page, Jan Oskar says it is not recognized as one of the 24 provinces (which then would be 25!). I suggest to clarify the status of NB in the province list.
Ivan Sache, 2001-Jan-02

Well, the actual status of North Bothnia (Norrbotten) is unclear, to say the least! As the historical provinces have no administrative meaning these days, the government does not care either. The provinces are the main regional way to define from where in Sweden you are, but that's about it (except for the titular duchies given to princes and princesses). Some people are certain that North Bothnia is a province just like the rest of the provinces, others are just as certain it is really not.

Also, or so it is said sometimes anyway (I don't know for certain myself), in the two northernmost counties (län) in Sweden, people are actually often relating their home to the county and not to the province, which can be one of the reasons for the original confusion, since the province (if it exist) of North Bothnia is that part of the province of West Bothnia which lies within the borders of the county of North Bothnia, while the county of West Bothnia consists of the southern part of the original province of that name plus the southern part of the Swedish province of Lappland (while the northern part of this province of Lappland belongs to the county of North Bothnia).

(There is a province called Lappland in Finland too (the two Lapplands were originally one, when Finland was a part of Sweden), and a small part of the original province of West Bothnia is actually situated at the Finnish side of the border.)
Elias Granqvist, 2 January 2001