Coat of arms of Saxony

Coat of arms of Saxony
Armiger Freestate of Saxony
Adopted 1990
Escutcheon Barry sable and Or, a crancelin vert
Use January 1, 700 (700-01-01)

The coat of arms of the present-day German free state of Saxony shows a ninefold partitioned field of black (Sable) and gold/yellow (Or) stripes,[1] charged with a green crancelin (a stylized common rue) in bend - running from viewer's top-left to bottom-right. Although the crancelin is sometimes shown embowed (bent) like a crown, this is due to artistic license.[2] The coat of arms is also displayed on the state flag of Saxony.[2]


The shield Barry sable and Or, a crancelin vert deduce from the Saxon counts of Ballenstedt (in present-day Saxony-Anhalt), ancestors of the ducal House of Ascania. The Ascanian margrave Albert the Bear achieved the Saxon ducal title in 1138; when his Welf successor Henry the Lion was deposed by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1180, Albert's son Bernhard, Count of Anhalt received the remaining Saxon territories around Wittenberg and Lauenburg and the ducal title. Legend goes that when he rode in front of the emperor, at the occasion of his investiture, carrying his escutcheon with the Ballenstedt coat of arms (barry sable and Or), Barbarossa took the rue wreath he wore against the heat of the sun from his head, hanging it over Bernhard's shield and thus creating the Saxonian crancelin vert.

From about 1260 the Duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg emerged under the Ascanian duke Albert II, who adopted the tradition of the Saxon stem duchy and especially took over the Saxon electoral dignity, against the fierce protest of his Ascanian Saxe-Lauenburg cousins but confirmed by the Golden Bull of 1356. The Saxe-Wittenberg black and golden shield already displayed the Gothic crancelin, probably symbolizing the waiver of the Lauenburg lands.[1] As the Ascanian Electors of Saxony also held the High office of an Arch-Marshal of the Holy Roman Empire, they added the ensign Per fess Sable and Argent two swords in saltire Gules (the later Meissen swords) to their coat of arms. When the line became extinct in 1422, arms and electoral dignity were adopted by the Wettin margrave Frederick IV of Meissen.

When upon the German reunification the Free State of Saxony was re-established, the coat of arms was formally confirmed in 1991:

The Landtag of Saxony state parliament has passed on 25 October 1991 the following law:

§ 1 (1) The lesser coat-of-arms of the Free State of Saxony shows an escutcheon bendy of nine pieces black and gold, a green rue-crown bendwise. (2) A greater coat-of-arms of the Free State of Saxony can be determined by a special law.

§ 2 For the rendering of the coat-of-arms the patterns, which are attached to this law as appendix, are authoritative. The coloured patterns are deposited in the Main Public Record Office of Saxony.

§ 3 The regulations necessary for the implementation of this law are issued by the State Government. It can pass on this authority.

§ 4 This law comes into force the day after its proclamation.

The preceding law is executed herewith and is to be proclaimed.

Prof. Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf (Minister President), Steffen Heitmann (State Minister of Justice), Law relating to the coat-of-arms of the Free State of Saxony Of 18 November 1991,(Saxon Law and Official Gazette 1991, p. 383-385), Dresden, 18 November 1991.[3]

The Constitution of the Free State of Saxony adopted by the Landtag on 26 May 1992 stated the country flag displays in a ninefold partitioned field of Black and Gold a right diagonal green crancelin.[4]

Previous versions
Black Saxon Steed, according to legend Duke Widukind's ensign for Old Saxony (700–785) 
Widukind's White Steed as ensign of the Duchy of Saxony, claimed by the House of Welf from 1361, adopted by the Electorate of Hanover 
Counts of Aschersleben (Ascharia), ancestors of the House of Ascania, from about 1000 
Counts of Ballenstedt, ancestors of the House of Ascania, from about 1000 
Meissen Lion of the Wettin margraves (965–1423), beloved in the heraldic 
Red Eagle used from 1170 by the Ascanian margrave Otto I of Brandenburg, son of Albert the Bear, probably derived from a hereditary family ensign since around 900 
Saxe-Lauenburg (1296–1803; 1814–1876) 
Electorate of Saxony (1356-1806) with the crossed swords of the Imperial Arch-Marshal and the green crancelin. 
Frederick of Saxony, 36th Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights ruled over the Teutonic bailiwicks of Thuringia (Hesse and Saxony), the Saxon County Palatinate and Meissen (1498-1510) 
Royal coat of arms of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled in personal union by the Saxon electors Augustus the Strong (1697–1706) and Frederick Augustus II (1734–1763) 
Coat of arms of Elector Frederick Augustus II, King of Poland, as Imperial vicar 
Kingdom of Saxony (1806–1918) 
Coat of Arms of the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw (1807–1815), ruled in personal union by King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony 
Prussian Province of Saxony (1816–1944) 
Ernestine duchies
Saxe-Weimar (1572–1809) 
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1826–1920) 
Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1680–1826) 
Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg (1602–1672; 1826–1918) 
Saxe-Merseburg (1657-1738) 
Saxe-Weissenfels (1656–1746) 
Saxe-Hildburghausen (1680–1826) 
Saxony/ Saxe-Jena (1672–1690) Saxe-Eisenach (1596–1638; 1640–1644; 1662–1809)/ Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Eisenach (1572-1596; 1633-1638)/ Duchy of Saxe-Weimar (1572–1809)/ Duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg (1296–1356) with the black-yellow imperial colored stripes and green crancelin 
Duchy of Saxe-Coburg (1596–1633; 1680–1735) 
Saxe-Meiningen (1680–1918) 
Princes of the United Kingdom
Spanish Royal Family
Formerly nazi symbol of the Free State Saxony's areal today
Gau Saxony (1933–1945) none real coat of arms of Saxony due the Saxon coat of arms was unsolicited for government[5]  


  1. 1 2 Freistaat Sachsen official website (German) Accessed 2009-05-19.
  2. 1 2 Saxony (Germany) at Flags of the World
  3. Flag Legislation (Saxony, Germany)
  4. Art.2 (3)
  5. Hitlers Mein Kampf: "The Saxons are so strong bastardisized"... ...."We should use the new forms of our symbols to protect the meaning of our time."

See also

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 5/8/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.