|Heraldry of the World |
Wappen der Welt
Civic heraldry of Germany
In Blau ein aufrecht stehender, achtfach rot-silbern gestreifter, goldgekrönter und goldbewehrter Löwe, umgeben von acht silbernen Sternen.
The present arms were officially granted on January 31, 1991.
The barred lion is the old symbol of the Counts of Thüringen since the late 12th century. The original arms showed 9 bars instead of the present 8 bars. The arms have later been transferred to the Counts of Hessen who descended from the counts of Thüringen. The stars are derived from the arms of the Free State of Thüringen from the early 20th century, when the state used a red shield with 7 silver stars (see image below).
The stars and the present 8 bars represent the former states, which now form the State of Thüringen:
Sachsen-Weimar(-Eisenach),Sachsen-Gotha, Sachsen-Meiningen, Sachsen-Altenburg, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen, Reuss and parts of Preussen (not represented by a star in the arms from 1921).
Seal from around 1925
The arms from 1921-1933
In 1933 the arms were replaced by the arms below. The escutcheon shows the lion of Thüringen, holding a swastika. The four quarters symbolise the former (medieval) territories in the area : the first quarter represents Sachsen and the later smaller states derived thereof, the second quarter shows the eagle of Schwarzburg (also mentioned as the eagle of Preussen), the third the lion of Reuss. The fourth quarter shows the arms of the county of Henneberg.
The arms from 1933-1945
In 1945 the arms were replaced again. The new arms (se below) show the lion of Thüringen, combined with the now 8 stars (one added for Preussen) of the arms of 1921. The arms remained in use until 1952, when the State of Thüringen was abolished.
The arms from 1945-1952
Only after 1989 the old arms were restored.
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Literature : Stadler, K. : Deutsche Wappen - Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Angelsachsen Verlag, 1964-1971, 8 volumes; images provided by Christian Klasen, Schwerin.