Last modified: 2017-11-11 by andrew weeks
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Poland was left without a separate ruler (even a foreign one) during
the last period of Russian domination, when even the grandduchy status
was abolished; before that the Russian czar accumulated the title of Grandduke
of Poland, entiled to the referred arms. However, the Russian
imperial Coat of Arms did show the polish ineschuteon (placed on the top of
the dexter wing of the eagle), which may substantiate this claim: Though
Poland was not administratively autonomous from other parts of the russian
empire, the czar did retain the title and the arms in use.
Antonio Martins, 16 Jun 2000
With respect to the crown over the head of the eagle on the Polish flag
and arms even when Poland was a republic, as it is now and as it was during
the interwar period, this can perhaps be explained by the fact that Poland
before the 18th Century partitions was in effect an elective monarchy.
The Polish Monarchy was known as the 'Rzeczpolitna Polska', or 'Polish
Republic', the official name of the country since 1919 with the exception
of the Communist period.
Of course, the franchise for electing a king was strictly limited, and the elections were marked by great bribery and corruption; see any accounts of the election of various Saxon kings to the Polish throne during the 18th Century, or for that matter the election of Stanislav Leszczynski during the middle of that century.
Ron Lahav, 14 Mar 2004
I do not remember from my school years any teacher explaining the red
colour on our flag as a symbol of communism. Even the official school coursebooks
explained it as a symbol for blood shed for freedom in our stormy history.
Whereas the white stripe certainly stands for peace.
It is true we never had any red stars on our COA during the communist rule. And the whole dispute over the star like signs on the eagle's wings was really nonsense to me. Some time ago I visited the museum in my town and one of the exhibits was a COA which had survived the World War II and to my astonishment it showed regular white stars on the wings! I wonder what all those rightwing politicians, including Mr Korwin-Mikke, would say to that.
Piotr Kowalski, 13 Dec 2004
From our internal vexillological studies the Polish flag colours have
no link with communism; these colours (red & white) were always used
by the old monarchy of Poland (Poland had a great role in Medieval Age
in Europe and the Polish Empire was one of the most important in Europe
in a medium period). The oldest Polish monarchy symbol that sometime could
be still used on flags is in fact a WHITE "crowned" eagle with Yellow tongue
on a RED shield: we can find this symbol from the 13th century. This is
why in 1919 one year after independence, Polish Parliament adopted a simple
red and white bi-colour flag for its country.
Paolo Luigi, 14 Dec 2004
I`ve found your site about the Polish eagle. There is one more hypothesis
about the origin of Polish Coat of Arms. In the year 1000, in Gniezno, there was
a meeting of Polish duke Boleslaw Chrobry [the Strong] with German Emperor
Otton III. Boleslaw was given the title of Roman Patricius, and [accordingly]
he was given roman, white eagles as his symbol. It is probable that current
Polish eagle is a reminiscence of Boleslaw`s patricism.
Tadeusz Stasiak, 30 Dec 2004