The Five Swans represent the Scandinavian Countries, the lead swan is Iceland, the first European country to have a democracy. The flight of the Swans represents the Scandinavian countries progress toward democracy. A motif that originates in a Danish poem celebrating the free community of the five Nordic countries.
The many links to the Scandinavian countries are puzzling. King Olaf of Norway opened the Civic Centre in 1968, rather than a member of the British Royal Family, perhaps this reflected a tension between Westminster and the North, which is a discussion point to this day.