Coat of arms of Warsaw

Coat of arms of Warsaw
Coat of arms of Warsaw
Design for Grand Coat of Arms of Warsaw ("Semper invicta")

The Coat of Arms of Warsaw consists of a syrenka ("little mermaid") in a red field. Polish syrenka is cognate with siren, but she is more properly a fresh-water mermaid called “Melusina.” This imagery has been in use since at least the mid-14th century.[1] The syrenka has traditionally held a silver sword although this does not appear on more recent versions.



The first coat of arms of Warsaw depicted a dragon with a male human head, carrying a sword and a shield. The first known usage was on a seal from 1390. This is the oldest existing armed seal of Warsaw, consisting of a round seal bordered with the Latin inscription Sigilium Civitatis Varsoviensis (Seal of the city of Warsaw).[2] Gradually the male head and body was replaced with that of a female, and by the end of 16th century the tail was also changed from that of a dragon to that of a fish. The only remaining parts of the original coat of arms are the sword and shield.

The 1659 coat of arms of Old Warsaw on the cover of one of Warsaw's accounting books.

Beginning in the early 17th century Warsaw records associate a sword-wielding mermaid with the city.[3] Since 1622, the Warsaw arms have been rendered as a mermaid with sword and shield in hand, representing Melusina from the River Vistula (Wisła), who in legend led Duke Bolesław II of Masovia (1262–1313) to the appropriate site (a fishing village) and ordered him to found the city, in about 1294. The origin of the legendary figure is not fully known.[4] The city's motto is, appropriately, Contemnit procellas ("It defies the storms").

Modern usage

The current official design of the symbol was introduced in 1938 but it was only used in this form until the beginning of World War II. After 1945, Communist authorities changed the emblem by removing the crown. The insignia was restored to the pre-war form on August 15, 1990.

In addition there is a "Great Emblem of the City of Warsaw" (Herb Wielki Miasta Stołeczego Warszawy) used only for ceremonial occasions. It includes a depiction of the Virtuti Militari medal, which was awarded to the City to honor the bravery of its citizens during World War II. It also adds the second motto to the emblem — Semper invicta (Always invincible).[5]

Every member of the Queen's Royal Hussars of the United Kingdom light cavalry wears the Maid of Warsaw, the crest of the City of Warsaw, on the left sleeve of his No. 2 (Service) Dress.[6] Members of 651 Squadron Army Air Corps of the United Kingdom also wear the Maid of Warsaw on the left sleeve of their No. 2 (Service) Dress.[7]


See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Coat of arms — redirects here. For the album by Sabaton, see Coat of Arms (album). Shield Field Supporter Supporter …   Wikipedia

  • Coat of arms of Saxony — Details Armiger House of Wettin (culture, religion ,history and aristocracy; Freestate Saxony (populistic administrations area) …   Wikipedia

  • Coat of Arms (album) — Coat of Arms Studio album by Sabaton Released May 21, 2010 …   Wikipedia

  • Coat of arms of Kłodzko — it shows a white Bohemian Lion on a red field with a golden crown and a double tail. Coat of arms comes from the dynasty of Czech kings Premyslids. Legend Residents of Kłodzko given by the ruler of the Bohemia P …   Wikipedia

  • Coat of arms of Poznań — The Coat of Arms of Poznań consists of white (not silver) city walls with three towers. On the left (heraldic) tower stands Saint Peter with a key and on the heraldic right one stands Saint Paul with a sword. In the gate there are two golden… …   Wikipedia

  • Coat of arms of Głogów — Coat of Arms of Glogów The Coat of Arms of Glogów depicts a shield divided crosswise into four fields, with a fifth central field on which there appears in the centre an initial golden G on a red background. The first field is blue and shows a… …   Wikipedia

  • Coat of arms of Rybnik — The coat of arms of the city of Rybnik in Poland consists of a blue shield bearing a white pike rising diagonally, between two floral patterns. The arms are an example of canting arms, since ryb means fish . This coat was adopted by the Rybnik… …   Wikipedia

  • Coat of arms of Piła — The Coat of Arms of the Polish city of Piła features a red (sometimes brown) deer jumping towards the left (heraldic right) on a green field. It has been first featured on a stamp of the City Council issued probably in 1571. Initially the deer… …   Wikipedia

  • Coat of arms of Nowy Sącz — The coat of arms of Nowy Sącz shows Saint Margaret the Virgin. The arms depicts the legend about her that she was swallowed by Satan taking the form of a dragon who was however forced to spit her out due, when the cross she carried irritated the… …   Wikipedia

  • Coat of arms of Lubawa — The Coat of Arms of Lubawa features Christian, the first bishop of Prussia. According to the 1216 bull by Pope Innocent III, it was Christian who baptised the local duke of Prussians, Surwabuno. See also Lubawa Polish heraldry …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”