Last modified: 2017-11-11 by kryštof huk
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The oldest depiction of the arms comes from seals dated to 1407. They show the Bohemian double-tailed lion holding up a fish (some depictions show the fish biting down on the lion's paw and specify that it is a barbell). This probably comes from DÄÄÃn being a royal city. Such cities and cities were usually given the lion to use, sometimes improved by other elements (in this case the fish). We can assume the arms were white (silver) on red as per the Bohemian lion. However sources claim that later we find more and more depictions showing a different set of colours - blue and yellow (gold). These sources claim it comes from the arms of the Thun-Hohenstein family, owners of the town. The arms are later often depicted as blue and white (silver, possibly an accidental shift from gold) and can be seen on various postcards and prints, especially in relation with the Deutsche Gewerbe-, Industrie- und landwirtschaftliche Ausstellung or the German Trade, Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition, which was held in the city in 1902. These arms can be found in common use before WWI. I have no information on which arms were used until WWII.
In 1942, under the German administration of the Sudetenland, the town was united with the towns of Podmokly (de:Bodenbach) and StarÃ© MÄsto (de:Altstadt) to form one city: Tetschen-Bodenbach. Some sources claim that this is the time when the blue and white arms became official along with a mural crown. They also mention a document titled "10th June 1943 "Ä. j. I a Kom 1113/00" Reichsstatthalter Commissariat in Liberec". I have been able to confirm that this document is in the possession of the State Regional Archive in LitomeÅice and will attempt to visit personally or obtain a copy. After the end of the war, probably in 1945, the city adopted new arms, replacing the blue in the shield with red. My personal speculation is that it was a nationalist move to Czechize the arms, a move we can see in several cities in the former Sudetenland.
It's important to mention that sources on the matter often adopt a different view on the matter depending on their source. While most German sources mention the blue and silver arms, Czech sources rarely do and usually merely speak of the red and silver arms.
A. Zelenka & T. Javora, Sudeten-Deutsches Wappen-Lexikon (Passau: Passavia, 1985), 366-367.
VladimÃr Ruda, Znaky severoÄeskÃœch mÄst (Most: NakladatelstvÃ Dialog, 1970), 50-51.
Karel LiÅ¡ka & LudvÃk Mucha, KlÃÄ k naÅ¡im mÄstÅ¯m (Prague: NakladatelstvÃ PrÃ¡ce, 1979), 83.
"Tetschen-Bodenbach", Politz an der Elbe, Kreis Tetschen-Bodenbach, Herbert Pietschmann - http://www.politz-elbe.de/tetschen-bodenbach.html, accessed 27.04.2017
"TuristickÃ© cÃle v okolÃ obce DÄÄÃn - Znak a historie", Hrady.cz, author unknown - http://www.hrady.cz/index.php?p=main_okoli&detailObec=7667&setPageTab=2, accessed 27.04.2017
The blue-over-white flag is sometimes depicted on postcards from the second half of the 19th century and the pre-WWI years. Like the arms, it is also often depicted in relation with the Deutsche Gewerbe-, Industrie- und landwirtschaftliche Ausstellung - the German Trade, Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition, which was held in the city in 1902. The blue-white combination is probably derived from the arms. The flag's trail disappears after WWI after which I cannot find any further use of it.
Kryštof Huk, 5 May 2017