Coat of arms of Latvia
Greater version
Versions
Middle version
Lesser version
ArmigerRepublic of Latvia
AdoptedJune 15, 1921
CrestAn arc of three mullets Or
ShieldPer fess and in base per pale: 1st Azure, a demi-sun issuing from base Or; 2nd Argent, a lion rampant contourné Gules; 3rd Gules, a gryphon segreant brandishing in the dexter claw a sword Argent.
SupportersDexter, a lion rampant Gules, and sinister, a griffin segreant Argent; both langued Or
CompartmentTwo oak branches fructed Vert tied together by a ribbon Sanguine charged with a bar Argent

The Coat of arms of the Republic of Latvia was officially adopted by the Constitutional Assembly of Latvia on 15 June 1921, and entered official use starting on 19 August 1921. It was created using new national symbols, as well as elements of the coats of arms of Polish and Swedish Livonia and of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia. Thus, the coat of arms combines symbols of Latvian national statehood, as well as symbols of its historical regions.[1] The Latvian national coat of arms was designed by Latvian artists Vilhelms Krūmiņš and Rihards Zariņš.[2][3][4]

Previously, after the proclamation of the independence of Latvia, an emblem was adopted by the People's Council of Latvia on 6 December 1918 as a 'national coat of arms'. The symbol, designed by Burkards Dzenis, consisted of a Sun (a symbol of self-determination, used in badges of the Latvian Riflemen) with 17 rays, symbolizing the counties inhabited by Latvians. The bottom of the disk was covered by a ribbon in the colors of the Latvian flag. At the center of the solar disk a letter "L" and three stars were placed. This emblem was mostly used in slightly different monochrome variations as an official seal (by the People's Council, the Constitutional Assembly and other government and military institutions), on the banknotes of the Latvian ruble, diplomatic passports etc.).[5]

Elements

The three golden stars above the shield represent the three historical regions of Latvia: Vidzeme (Swedish Livonia), Latgale (Latgalia or Polish Livonia) and Kurzeme (Courland, also Zemgale (Semigallia) as the Duchy of Courland and Semigalia) and their unity.[6]

The golden sun in a blue field represents freedom. The sun was also used as a symbol of distinction and national identity used by the Imperial Russian Army's Latvian Riflemen units during World War I.[6] During the war, the sun was fashioned with 17 rays that symbolised the 17 Latvian-inhabited districts.

The bottom part of escutcheon is divided into two fields:

The red lion and silver griffin are also used as supporters.[7]

Base of the coat of arms is decorated with the branches of an oak tree, Quercus robur, which is one of Latvia's national symbols, and tied by a red-white-red ribbon.

There is also a version with a mantle, which is on display at the Plenary Chamber in the House of the Livonian Noble Corporation.


Usage

The proper use of the Latvian coat of arms is firmly regulated. Three types of symbols are used: the large coat of arms, the small enhanced coat of arms and the small coat of arms.

After the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940, the coat of arms was used until 5 August 1940. During the existence of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, the emblem of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic was used. The Latvian coat of arms was restored once again on 15 February 1990.[8]

Until 1 January 2014 both versions of the Latvian lats used the small coat of arms on the obverse sides of 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, 20s and 50s coins, the large coat of arms was used on the obverse sides of Ls 1 and Ls 2 coins and the reverse sides of all banknotes. After the introduction of Euro, the small coat of arms is used on the national sides of €0.01, €0.02 and €0.05 coins, the large coat of arms is used on the national sides of €0.10, €0.20 and €0.50 coins.

Colours

The official colours used in the coat of arms are defined according to the Pantone Colour Matching System as follows:

Historical coats of arms

See also

References

  1. ^ Latvijas Republikas ģerbonis
  2. ^ "Rihards Zariņš" (in Latvian). Nacionālā enciklopēdija. Retrieved 28 August 2022.
  3. ^ de Vries, Hubert. "LATVIJA". De Rode Leeuw. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
  4. ^ Ducmane, Kristīne. "Simboli: Latvijas ģerbonis, karogs" (in Latvian). makslaplus.lv. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
  5. ^ Lukša, Aloizs (1998-10-22). "Latvijas ģerboņu līnijas 1918 - 1940 - Latvijas Vēstnesis" [Outlines of the coats of arms of Latvia 1918-1940]. Latvijas Vēstnesis (in Latvian). Retrieved 2023-12-17.
  6. ^ a b c d Žemaitis, Augustinas. "State symbols of Latvia". OnLatvia.com. Retrieved 28 August 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d "The Coat of Arms of Latvia". Latvijas Valsts Prezidents. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Латвийская ССР". Heraldicum (in Russian). Russian Centre of Vexillology and Heraldry. Retrieved 4 September 2023.