Coat o airms o Poland
The coat o airms o the Republic o Poland is described in twa legal documents: the Constitution o the Republic o Poland o 1997 an the Coat o Airms, Colors an Anthem o the Republic o Poland, an State Seals Act (Ustawa o godle, barwach i hymnie Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej oraz o pieczęciach państwowych) o 1980 wi subsequent amendments (henceforth referred tae as "the Coat o Airms Act").
Legislation concernin the naitional seembols is far frae perfect. The Coat o Airms Act haes been amendit several times an refers extensively tae executive ordinances, some o which hae niver been issued. Mairower, the Act contains errors, omissions an inconsistencies which make the law confusin, open tae various interpretations an aften no follaed in practice.
Accordin tae Chapter I, Airticle 28, paragraph 1 o the Constitution, the coat o airms o Poland is an image o a crouned white eagle in a red field. The Coat o Airms Act, Airticle 4, further specifies that the croun, as well as the eagle's beak an talons, are golden. The eagle's wings are ootstretcht an its heid is turned tae its richt. In Inglis heraldic terminology, the airms are blazoned as Gules an Eagle Argent crouned, beakt an airmed Or. In contrast tae classic heraldry, whaur the same blazon mey be rendered intae varyin designs, the Coat o Airms Act allous ae ane offeecial renderin o the naitional coat o airms. The offeecial design mey be foond in attachment no. 1 tae the Coat o Airms Act.
The nearly circular chairge, i.e. the image o the white eagle, is heichly stylized. The heraldic bird is depictit wi its wings an legs ootstretcht, its heid turned tae the richt, in a pose kent in heraldry as 'displayed'. The eagle's plumage, as well as its tongue an leg scales are white wi gradient shadin suggestive o a bas-relief. Each wing is adorned wi a curved baund extendin frae the bird's torso tae the upper edge o the wing, terminatin in a heraldic cinquefoil. Note that a cinquefoil is a stylized five-leaft plant, no a starn. Three o its leaves are embossed like a trefoil (note similar trefoils in the medieval designs o the eagle). In heraldic terms, the eagle is "airmed", that is tae say, its beak an talons are rendered in gold, in contrast to the body. The croun on the eagle's heid consists o a base an three fleurons extendin frae it. The base is adorned wi three roughly rectangular gemstanes. The fleurons– o which the twa ooter anes are ae pairtly visible– hae the shape o a fleur-de-lis. The entire croun, includin the gems, as well as spaces atween the fleurons, is rendered in gold.
The chairge is placed in an escutcheon (shield) o the Modren French type. It is a nearly rectangular upricht isosceles trapezoid, roondit at the bottom, whose upper base is slichtly langer than the lawer ane, frae the middle o which extends downwards a pointed tip. Although the shield is an integral pairt o the coat o airms, Polish law stipulates, in certain cases, tae ae uise the chairge athoot the escutcheon. The shades o the principal tinctures, white (Argent) an red (Gules), which are the naitional colors o Poland, are specified as coördinates in the CIE 1976 color space.
The White Eagle emblem oreeginatit when Poland's legendary foonder Lech saw a white eagle's nest. When he leukit at the bird, a ray o sunshine frae the red settin sun fell on its wings, so they appeared tipped wi gold, the rest o the eagle wis pure white. He wis delichtit an decidit tae settle there an placed the eagle on his emblem. He an aa named the place Gniezdno (currently Gniezno) frae the Polish wird gniazdo (nest).
This tale coud be considered as an allusion tae the legend o the ceety o Rome which wis foondit bi Romulus an Remus. Auspicium is the ancient rite o observin birds o prey flights in order tae get support o gods for future arranged actions. A less romantic version assumes that Poland adoptit the emblem frae Roman Empire (like mony ither European kintras).
- (Pols) Konstytucja Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej [(Inglis) Constitution of the Republic of Poland], Dz.U. 1997 nr 78 poz. 483
- (Pols) Ustawa o godle, barwach i hymnie Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej oraz o pieczęciach państwowych [Coat o Airms, Colors an Anthem o the Republic o Poland, an State Seals Act], Dz.U. 1980 nr 7 poz. 18
- (Pols) Informacja o wynikach kontroli używania symboli państwowych przez organy administracji publicznej, Warsaw: Supreme Chamber of Control (NIK), 2005