Rebranding Sweden

Updating the Three Crowns with Modern Swedish Icons

Jim Nolan
3 min readNov 10, 2023
“Tre Kronor,” or Three Crowns, the current (boring) national emblem of Sweden.

Three Crowns compose the national emblem of Sweden, but it’s time for a refresh. Yes, Sweden is officially a Kingdom, but even though he just celebrated 50 years on the throne, King Carl XVI Gustav has no power to do anything, not even command ABBA to reunite.

Let’s rebrand the Three Crowns with three illustrative representations of modern Swedish life.

I need one of these.

#1. The Giant Shoe Horn

Swedes wisely remove their footwear upon entering someone’s home, including their own. More hygienic, less vacuuming. Many Swedish homes hang an XXL-shoe horn by the door to help you put your shoes back on upon leaving, WITHOUT EVEN BENDING OVER. It’s a clever and helpful idea and thus emblematic of Sweden. I suppose the King has one. A fancy one.

To my suburban teenage self, this would have been a miracle beyond my wildest dreams.

#2. The Lawn Robot

Swedes don’t cut the grass themselves, they have robots do it for them. They are harbingers of our eventual replacement. They quietly whirr and whiz on lawns everywhere, stopping only at their base stations to recharge. Here in the United States, I have seen exactly zero lawn robots on patrol. To be in Sweden is to see our manicured future.

Agneta’s handiwork, sure to accompany a delicious cup of coffee. Unsurprisingly, there’s a missing bun on bottom right.

#3. Fika

Ska vi fika?” or “Shall we have coffee and a pastry together?” are the three most important Swedish words and are on the tip of every Swede’s tongue, just waiting for the slightest reason to be uttered. They are a fika-mad people, they live to fika. And frankly, they have it right. How better to spend your time than by taking a break with a friend over coffee and a cinnamon bun, especially the ones baked by my cousin Mikael’s wife Agneta. Which would, by the way, receive an immediate and hearty handshake from Paul Hollywood during pastry week on The Great British Baking Show.

Put all three modern Swedish icons together and the new national emblem of Sweden looks something like this:

Illustration by Isabella Bannerman

Let’s apply it to real life. Here’s how the new emblem looks on the sweater of Swedish national men’s hockey team. Quite an improvement, in my opinion.

The Three Icons, boldly adorning Axel Sandin Pellikka’s hockey sweater (well, via Photoshop, anyway).

Finally, here’s a Saab 37 Viggen fighter jet with the updated emblem. Combine that with a terrifying nickname like “the Fighting Fikas,” and good luck invading this country.

Let me know if I’ve gotten this right, Sweden. Are there icons I might have missed?

More importantly, ska vi fika?



Jim Nolan

Jim’s humor writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Funny Times,, McSweeneys Internet Tendency, and on WBFO public radio.