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Wappen der Welt
Civic heraldry of Germany
Bärenstein was founded on an old village in 1491 and mentioned as a city in 1502. The arms are based on the arms of the founders, the Lords of Bernstein.
The arms are clearly canting (Bär=Bear) and are known since the 16th century as arms of the city. Until 1894 the town used a brown bear's head on a golden or silver field. In 1894 the town applied for confirmation of these arms, but as brown was not an official heraldic colour, the State Archives of Sachsen changed the arms in silver with a black bear (below).
Finally in 1997 the above arms were granted in black and gold. In addition to this, the arms have also been described twice as a blue head in a golden field, but these colours have never been used officially.
Seal from around 1900
The arms by Hupp in the Kaffee Hag albums +/- 1925
Literature : Bensing, et al; Lexicon Städte und Wappen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, Leipzig, 1985; www.baerenstein.de