List of Polish nobility coats of arms images

List of Polish nobility coats of arms images

Polish heraldry

Polish heraldry is closely related to the Polish nobility, the szlachta, which has its origins in Middle Ages warriors clans that provided military support to the King, Dukes or overlords. Exceptions apart, all Polish families belonging to the same noble clan used/use the same coat of arms. Polish original word Herb makes reference to the clan as well to the coat of arms at the same time. The Polish clan does not mean consanguinity nor territoriality, as do Scottish clan, but to the fact to belong to a same warrior group (or a brotherhood of Knights). For that reason, there are hundreds of different families in the same clan and all of them were/are entitled to use the same coat of arms. Nevertheless, in daily life, (from the 17th to the 20th centuries), the sense of belonging to a family predominated. This is indicated by the organization of most of Polish armorial, which are arranged by specific families and not by Coat of arms. It is known that a sense of belonging and attachement to the Clan crest lineage existed in the old Polish consciousness and had survived from the Middle Ages, but it was probably more ceremonial and symbolic than "everyday". Especially since there were fairly frequent instances, particularly among the poorer nobility in 19th century, of accidentally (and sometimes deliberately) identifying themselves with various Coat of arms to the heraldry offices of the partitioning countries. In this way, members of a single family sometimes formally became members of various Coats of arms. [] . Also in those times, Magnate families and some middle Landowners families obtained titles (Prince, Count, Baron) and “own” Coats of arms, (variations of their original Herb), from the partitioning monarchies, the French empire, the Pope and other kingdoms. [] Polish Coat of arms have an own name, becoming usually from it old War cry or it own drawing.

Images of some Polish-Lithuanian Clans coat of arms

Images of some Personal coat of arms

As all rules have exceptions...

ee also

* Coat of arms
* Heraldry
* History of Poland
* List of Polish coats of arms
* Szlachta
* Polish name
* Polish clans

Further reading

* Tadeusz Gajl, "Herby szlacheckie Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodow", Gdansk, 2003
* [ Polish Coats of Arms listing] (Polish)
* [ Armorial]

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