Bavaria, Southern Germany

The Bavarian Coat of Arms is a combination of medieval symbols

There is a lot of symbolism on the Bavarian Coat of Arms…have you ever wondered what it all means?

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It is a combination of medieval symbols held by the two lions that have been used since the 14th century.

On the top left is a Golden Lion representing the Upper Palatinate. That golden lion was the official heraldic animal of the Wittelsbach family, rulers of Bavaria, or parts of it, from circa 1000 until 1918.

On the top right is the Franconian Rake which refers to three regions of Franconia. This rake first appeared circa 1350 as the sign of the bishopric Würzburg.

The Blue Panther represents upper and lower Bavaria and was once the official symbol of the Ortenburg family.

At bottom right, the three stacked Lions represent Schwabia. These lions were the coat of arms of the Staufers, also known as the Hohenstaufen family, who ruled in Swabia. The best known member of this family is Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa.

And finally, at the center is the blue and white pattern, known as the “Heart Shield” which symbolizes Bavaria as a whole and is the well known flag of Bayern (Bavaria).

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