Thorsby approves coat of arms

Published 10:20 pm Monday, October 19, 2009

The people have spoken, and a winning design for Thorsby’s coat of arms has been selected.

Thirty-three of 74 voters at the Thorsby Swedish Fest preferred Thomas Falk’s tapered “T” and mirrored images of peaches on a shield.

The design was one of four submitted by the Swedish Heraldry Association, which held a contest among Swedish heraldists to design a new emblem for the town.

Event chairwoman Tracia Bussey said the winning design was most likely chosen because it incorporates both Swedish colors and peaches.

“It just seemed to appeal to what most people liked,” she said. “It connected to our heritage and also one thing our county is so well known for. Our town is the birthplace of that.”

A coat of arms is an emblem containing different symbols, usually designed around a shield, which represents the ancestry and identity of a city or town.

Per-Erik Persson, member of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, manned the voting booth Saturday. He said a coat of arms usually costs the equivalent of $15,000, but Thorsby’s is a free gift.

“Every Swedish city has a coat of arms. It’s like your flag. It’s very dear,” he said.

Since Saturday’s festival, the story has made its way to two Swedish publications and one radio program. There was also quite a bit of interest at the Swedish Fest.

Many town leaders hope the move will benefit local tourism.

“I had lots of people in my booth,” Persson said. “All of them were interested in Sweden.”

The design was approved by the Thorsby Town Council Monday night during their regular council meeting.