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Police emblem and how to use it correctly

The sword-and-lion emblem is one of the best known symbols of Finnish police. The appearance and use of the emblem is regulated by the Finnish Government’s Decree on the Police.

The police emblem consists of a sword, which has as its hilt the head of the crowned lion featured in Finland’s coat of arms. 

The Police Decree regulates how the emblem can be used in other contexts and how to apply for permission to use the emblem. 

Who can use the police emblem?

The official police emblem can be used by police officers. The emblem appears, for example, on the arm patch of police uniforms. The Finnish Defence Forces also has the right to use the police’s sword-and-lion emblem in the training branch insignia of military police officers.

Individual police officers and groups of police officers such as trade unions can ask for permission from the National Police Board to use the emblem privately. Permission can only be granted if strict criteria for the private use of the emblem are satisfied.

The police’s sword-and-lion emblem is also protected under the Finnish Trademarks Act. The National Police Board can grant permission to use the emblem in theatre performances and other similar shows on a case-by-case basis.

Unauthorised use of the police emblem is a criminal offence under the Finnish Police Act. 

Wearing the police uniform as part of a theatre performance also requires permission

This is because the uniform includes the trademarked sword-and-lion emblem. Permission must be sought, for example, to use police uniforms in feature films, plays and documentaries. 

Permission to film police uniforms can only be granted to productions that do not contradict the police’s normal procedures and ethical principles.

Heads of police departments can authorise the use of police uniforms in local theatre performances. Nationwide performances require permission from the National Police Board. Permission must be sought in writing.  

The permission covers all accessories and articles of clothing that carry the police emblem.  

Contact information of police departments
More information about hiring police uniforms for artistic purposes