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Wroclaw city (Poland)

Dolnoslaskie Vojvodship

Last modified: 2001-10-26 by
Keywords: wroclaw | breslau |
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Wroc³aw flag

[Wroclaw flag] by Antonio Martins, 21 May 1999

Wroc³aw: horizontal red-yellow
Pascal Vagnat, 19 May 1999

Wroc³aw: a retained regional seat (of Lower Silesia), located on the Odra river, a walled settlement of local Slavic people since 4th century, since 1000 the center of a bishopric, Magdeburg law priviledges since 1211. The residence of the most important Silesian duchy. In Austria since 1526, and annexed by Prussia in 1741. In Poland after WW2. ca. 640.000 inhabitants.
Gwidon S. Naskrent, 6 Sept 2000

Wroc³aw flag with CoA

[Wroclaw flag with CoA] by Grzegorz Skrukwa, 14 Oct 2001

Wroclaw has two flags:
- plain bicolor red-yellow
- bicolor red-yellow with COA
Grzegorz Skrukwa, 14 Oct 2001

Wroc³aw new CoA

[Wroclaw new CoA] from this site, reported by Grzegorz Skrukwa, 14 Oct 2001

CoAs of Wroclaw - overview:

1) CoA 1530-1938, 1945-1948 and since 1990:
Quartered shield with escutcheon. It was established by Ferdinand I Habsburg, King of Bohemia, in 1530. Abolished by Nazi Germans in 1938, restored by Polish authorithies of Wroclaw in 1945, again abolished in 1948, anad again restored in 1990.  This is official explanation of CoA symbolism (from Town Council Resolution, 19 June 1990):
"Crowned lion rampant represents the Kingdom of Bohemia, to which Wroclaw belonged since 1336, after extinction the Wroclaw offshoot of Piast dynasty. The black eagle with cloverstalk is arms of Wroclaw Piast dynasty, regarded also as CoA of Wroclaw Duchy. St. John Evangelist is patron saint of town council and townhall chapel since XIV Century. Letter "W" was described in heraldic privilege document as an initial of legendary founder of town, Wratyslaw. De facto it was an initial of official Latin name of town: Wratislavia, and also an initial of Polish name of town. St. John Baptist's Head is an emblem of first patron saint of town. He appeared on Great Seal of Wroclaw in XIII Century. This CoA, established in 1530, is inspired by four-squared CoA of Royal Bohemian Land Starosty (Lieutenancy) of Wroclaw Duchy. Mayor of Wroclaw performed office of Chancellor and Starost (Lieutenant) of Wroclaw Duchy."
(Source: Maciej Lagiewski, Herb Wroclawia w architekturze miasta, Wroclaw 1992)

2) CoA of Wroclaw under Nazi Germany 1938-1945
Traditional CoA reminded of Polish and Czech history of Wroclaw, so Nazis abolished it in 1938 and established new "pure German" CoA, designed by Schweitzer-Mjoelnir. The shield was parted horizontally. On a top Silesian black eagle, maked alike to Prussian eagle. On a bottom: Iron Cross (Eiserne Kreuz) on red. This CoA failed together with Third Reich in May 1945.

3) CoA of Wroclaw 1948-1990
Designed by Polish historian Karol Maleczynski. Shield parted vertically. This CoA joined Silesian black eagle on gold and Polish white eagle on red. After failure of communist regime in Poland, Town Council get back to traditional CoA.
Grzegorz Skrukwa, 14 Oct 2001

It is interesting to note the similitude of many of the symbols within the Wroclaw CoA to symbols found in Czechia. I'm not an expert in heraldry, but I recognized all but one of them appearing in Czech flags.

We can see the Bohemian Lion and the Silesian Eagle, both territories shared by Poland and Czechia. Almost all of Bohemia is in Czechia and most part of Silesia is in Poland. The "W" should refer to Wroclaw, but we can find it also in a few Czech flags: Fulnek (NJ), Jilové u Prahy (PZ), Nové Strasecí (RA) and Pocátky (PE). The plate with St. John the Baptist's head also appears in some Czech flags and/or arms: Sudice (OP) and Teplice (TP).  The other symbol must be St. Stanislaw (Stanislaus), proper of Poland.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 16 Oct 2001

Wroc³aw old Coat of Arms

[Wroclaw CoA] from this site, report by Robert Czernkowski, 6 May 1999