Coat of arms of Latvia
Coat of arms of Republic of Latvia was officially adopted by the Constitutional Assembly of Latvia on July 15, 1921, and was in official use from August 19, 1921. It was created using new national symbols and elements of 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. The Latvian national coat of arms was designed by the Latvian artist Rihards Zariņš.
|Coat of Arms of Latvia|
|Armiger||Republic of Latvia|
|Adopted||July 15, 1921|
|Crest||An arc of three mullets Or|
|Blazon||Per 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.|
|Supporters||Dexter, a lion rampant Gules, and sinister, a griffin segreant Argent; both langued Or|
|Compartment||Two oak branches fructed Vert tied together by a ribbon Sanguine charged with a bar Argent|
The three golden stars above the shield represent three historical regions of Latvia: Vidzeme (Swedish Livonia), Latgale (Latgalia or Polish Livonia) and Kurzeme (Courland, usually also representing Zemgale (Semigallia) as the Duchy of Courland and Semigalia).
The golden sun in a blue field represents freedom. 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. During the war, the sun was fashioned with 17 rays that symbolized the 17 Latvian-inhabited districts.
The bottom part of escutcheon is divided into two fields:
- The red lion from the Coat of arms of Courland represents Courland and Semigallia. The symbol appears as early as 1569 in the coat of arms of the former Duke of Courland and Semigalia.
- The silver griffin from the Coat of arms of Livonia represents Vidzeme and Latgalia. The Gryf coat of arms as the heraldic symbol of the Duchy of Livonia appeared in 1566, when the territories known today as Vidzeme and Latgale had come under the control of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Jan Hieronimowicz Chodkiewicz was made the first governor of Duchy of Livonia (1566–78).
The red lion and silver griffin are also used as supporters.
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.
Emblem of the Latvian National Armed Forces including the sun with 17 rays and three stars
The proper use of the Latvian coat of arms is firmly regulated. Three types of symbol are used: the large coat of arms, the small enhanced coat of arms and the small coat of arms.
- The Greater Coat of Arms is used by the President of Latvia, the Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet of Ministers, government ministries, the Supreme Court and Prosecutor General, as well as Latvian diplomatic and consular missions.
- The Small Enhanced Coat of Arms, (the Middle version) is used by Parliament agencies, the Cabinet of Ministers and other institutions under direct or indirect supervision of government ministries.
- The Small Coat of Arms is used by other government institutions, municipal authorities and educational institutions on official documents.
After the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940, the coat of arms was used until August 5, 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 February 15, 1990.
The official colors used in the coat of arms are defined according to the Pantone Color Matching System thus:
- Red: Pantone 186C
- Green: Pantone 340C
- Blue: Pantone 286C
- Yellow: Pantone 124C
- Golden: Pantone 873C
- Silver: Pantone 877C
- Grey: Pantone 4C
- Black: Pantone Black
Historical coats of armsEdit
- The Coat of Arms (in French, Latvian, German, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and Estonian) – basic info at the Latvijas institūts website