Scania
A Region in Europe 

THE SCANIAN GRIFFIN

The heraldic Skåneland Griffin, yellow on red field. It is a symbol of Southern Scandinavia from Viking and early middle ages runic monuments found in Tullstorp and Hunnestad. It is similar to other Germanic animal symbols from early migration period. The animal on these stones has much in common with the fabled creature sometimes called "panther" in heraldic terminology.

Panthers often spit fire from mouths and nostrils, have horns, hind legs similar to a lion's and front legs similar to an eagle's. Many variations occur, but this Skåneland panther is unique. A certain continuity in Skåneland's imagery traditions can be seen in the use of a shield showing a panther by a Scanian family during the middle ages. In the year 1285 the family seal of Magnus Scanong de Scania showed a panther-like animal.

It is unclear whether there is any connection to a later Danish family using a panther in its coat of arms, however this family lived at different times in Scania and married into Scanian families. The Skåneland panther has its roots in runic stones, was later heralded, and is regarded as a symbol for culturally and historically aware Scanians.

Recently it has more officially re-instituted and has - since 1975 - been used, for example, in the logo of The Scanian Academy.

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