BTLOly #9: Finland

In John van der Woude
Feb 17th, 2014

Finland-636BTLOly (Best Team Logos in the Olympics) continues today, and will continue during the length of the Olympics. Of note, The “logos” are not the official logos for any of the hockey federations of the countries and have been designed specifically for this short 2-week long tournament. As such, these are meant to be temporary logos to symbolize a country, so there’s different things to consider. That being said, these logos are still symbolizing a country, so a certain amount of thought has to be put into their design. 

Enough with the disclaimer, let’s keep going with #9…

Finland-logoIt’s difficult to rank a national coat-of-arms this low in the BTLOly Countdown, as it obviously represents the country so well, and they’re usually incredibly stylish and interesting to look at. In the case of Finland, it’s not so much the design on the crest itself, but rather its disconnect between the aesthetics of the Finnish jersey and the logo.

Looking only at the logo image, you really wouldn’t have any idea that this is specifically Finnish unless you (a) were Finnish yourself or (b) a coat-or-arms aficionado. When we think of Finland, we think of Teemu Selanne, Ludvig Borga (the “Hellraiser from Helsinki”) and their blue-and-white flag. And we also know that ‘Suomi’ means Finland in Finnish. And that’s about it.

Within the context of being placed on the jersey, there’s no question that it’s Finnish (with the flag dominating the white jersey and “Suomi” on the blue jersey). But today, looking only at the logo, there’s nothing there that makes it look Finnish.

Which is kind of a stupid thing to say, as it’s the coat-of-arms of Finland, but hey, do you even know what the coat of arms for your own country looks like? You could probably pick it out of a line-up because it would have some distinguishing features (a maple leaf for Canada, an eagle for the States, three crowns for Sweden, etc.) but this Finnish doesn’t have any of those.

So, aside from the non-distinguishing Finnish features of this logo, what about taking it outside of that context and just looking at the logo itself? It’s pretty great, with some nice details. The nine silver roses are a relatively unique addition to national crests, but since it’s generally accepted that they’re there merely for decoration only with no symbolic value, makes them a bit unnecessary, or at least, it’s not necessary to cram all nine of them in there. A few of them could be removed and/or moved around.

The stylistic heraldic lion is always a nice touch to any coat of arms, and very European, but it really does look like it’s screaming in pain from stabbing itself in the head with a sword being wielded by the only human appendage the lion has. Takeaway: if you are not human, don’t trust any non-human part of you. It will only try to betray you.

And why is the lion walking over another sword? Who would put that sword there? Why does the person who designed this coat of arms hate lions so much? Why would they go all Kevin McAllistar on it?

But we shouldn’t question the validity of national coat-of-arms as most of them are generally non-sensical, as symbolism sometimes can be. Overall, it’s a pretty nice-looking crest, but aside from it being Finnish, it doesn’t look Finnish. Does this make any sense at all? But, whatever you think, red-and-yellow is not blue-and-white and, from an outsider’s point of view, that’s called an inconsistent branding strategy. So, it gets brought down to 9th.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below.



2 Responses to “BTLOly #9: Finland”

  1. 123 says:

    The sword symbolism is of course fitting for these Olympics: the lion is trampling on a curved, Eastern sword (Russia), while wielding a straight Western sword in its hand. It’s also mooning Russia.

  2. […] BTLOly #9: Finland BTLOly #10: Switzerland BTLOly #11: Slovenia BTLOly #12: Canada BTLOly #13: Norway BTLOly #14: Japan […]

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