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Karasjok, Finmark

Karasjok, Kárásjoga

Last modified: 2014-05-29 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: karasjok | karasjoga | flame | fire |
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Commune flag
image by Jan Oskar Engene, 27 April 2002
Approved on 27 June 1986.

See also:

About the Flag

On 27 June 1986 a Royal resolution approved arms and flag for Karasjok/Kárásjoga municipality in Finnmark county. The flag is defined as "In red three yellow flames with five tongues, two over one." According to Norske kommunevåpen [c2j87] flames were chosen as charge because fire is an important condition for sustaining life, especially on a mountain plateau like the one Karasjok/Kárásjoga is situated in and where a significant part of the population long had a nomadic way of life, partly still sustained by Saami reindeer herders. The fire is also the point around which people gather and it is a guard against dangers. According to Norske kommunevåpen the flag contains three flames, not only to fill out the field as is required by the norms of heraldry, but also to suggest that Karasjok/Kárásjoga is a place where three peoples live: the Saami, Norwegians and Finns. This is also partly reflected in the name of the municipality: The name is Karasjok in Norwegian and Kárásjoga in Saami, both versions are official.
Jan Oskar Engene, 27 April 2002

Flagg og våpen. Flagg fra alle verdens stater. Våpen fra alle norske kommuner og fylker [sga95] gives Kárášjohka/Karasjok. Could Karasjohka be the Finnish name of the municipality, or is it a former Saami name now superseded by Karasjoga? (Or is it a mistake in Flagg og våpen.?)
Ivan Sache, 27 April 2002

I do not believe Karasjohka is the Finnish form of the name. It is a Saami name. Though I am not sure, I believe there may have been a change in spelling at some point and that the spelling is now Kárásjoga.
Jan Oskar Engene, 28 April 2002

The three flames symbolize the union of the three peoples; Saami, Norwegians and "Kvæns". "Kvæns" are originally from Finland, but have adapted into Saami ways of life. They are therefore technically neither Finns or Saami.

As for the correct spelling and questions about Finnish spelling being discussed, I have the following information to clear up confusion:

  • The Commune in Norwegian: "Karasjok Kommune"
  • The Commune in Saami: "Kárájoga Gielda"
  • The village itself in Norwegian: "Karasjok"
  • The village itself in Saami: "Kárájohka"

So basically, Kárájoga Gielda means "Karasjok's Commune", whilst the village is named Karasjok. Saami grammar makes it turn in to "Kárásjoga", while English grammar would only add the apostrophe and an s, as in Karasjok's.
Jens Petter Kåven, 20 January 2004


Official blazon in Norwegian: "I rødt tre femtungede gule flamer, 2-1."

Blazoned in English: "Gules three five-tongued flames or two and one."
English blazon by Joe McMillan, 30 July 2002