The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Asker farm, since the first church was built here. The name (Old Norse: Askar) is the plural form of ask which means "ash tree".
The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 7 October 1975. The arms show a green background with three silver-colored tree trunks (Norwegian: askekaller) and are thus canting arms. The trees are ashes, which were cropped every year to provide food for the animals. The trees thus developed after many years a very typical shape, which was characteristic for the area.
In 1998, just before the millennium, the 'Askerbøringer' (the inhabitants of Asker) elected the beautiful area of Semsvannet including the mountain ridge Skaugumsåsen – to be their Place of the Millennium.
Its main parts are Asker, Gullhella, Vollen, Vettre, Blakstad, Bleiker, Borgen, Drengsrud, Dikemark, Vardåsen, Engelsrud, Holmen, Høn, Hvalstad, Billingstad, Nesøya, Nesbru, and Heggedal. Asker is a coastal place with many beaches, but also contains hills and woods. The district is known for many important businesses. It is also known for gardening. The Skaugum estate, where Crown Prince Haakon of Norway lives with his family, is situated here. The first IKEA store outside of Sweden opened at Slependen in Asker in 1963.
As part of the municipality reform process instigated by Minister of Local Government Jan Tore Sanner the municipalities of Asker, Hurum and Røyken evaluated if they should merge into a new common municipality during the first half of 2016. A tentative agreement was reached and on 16 June 2016 the Municipal Council of Røyken approved the merger with Asker and Hurum with 24 votes for and 3 against. On 14 June 2016 the Municipal Council of Asker also approved the merger with 42 votes for and 5 against. A few days later the Municipal Council of Hurum followed suit and approved the merger. The proposed merger date is 1 January 2020 and the new name will be Asker. The administrative center will still be Asker.
Although Asker is principally a rural municipality, the expansion of Oslo has resulted in its becoming an affluent suburb. Thus numerous celebrities now reside in the area. According to SSB (Statistics Norway), Asker ranks as the 2nd wealthiest municipality in Norway based on median household income.
Asker is also the home of the Frisk Tigers, who won the Norwegian Hockey championship in 1975, 1979, and 2002. Asker Skiklubb is the largest sports club in Norway. It has a long history dating back to 1889. Many of Asker's famous people have been successful individuals associated with the sports club.
The city is the home of Asker svømmeklubb. Asker women's football club has been home to many international players including four who played in the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China.
Asker is politically dominated by the conservatives, and the mayor is Lene Conradi who is a member of the Conservative Party of Norway (Høyre).
In 1916 (or 1917) the Maud, which had been built in local shipyards, was launched into Oslofjord. The ship which had been constructed and built especially for Roald Amundsen and was to sail through the Northeast Passage. After being seized by creditors in Seattle, Washington, United States, she was sold to the Hudson's Bay Company as a supply vessel. After being renamed the Baymaud she sailed to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada where, in 1930, she sprung a leak and sank. In 1990, the ship was sold by the Hudson's Bay Company to the town with the expectation that she would be returned to Asker. Although a Cultural Properties Export permit was issued, the price tag to repair and move the ship was 230 million kroner ($43,200,000) and the permit expired.
The following cities are twinned with Asker: – Eslöv, Skåne County, Sweden
– Garðabær, Capital Region, Iceland
– Jakobstad, Länsi-Suomi, Finland
– Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Rudersdal, Region Hovedstaden, Denmark
– Tórshavn, Tórshavnar kommuna, Faroe Islands