Coat of arms of Ukraine
|Coat of arms of Ukraine|
Greater Coat of Arms (proposed)
|Adopted||19 February 1992|
|Escutcheon||Azure, tryzub Or|
|Supporters||lion and cossack with rifle|
|Use||Ukrainian People's Republic (1918-1920)|
The state coat of arms of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Державний Герб України) or commonly the Tryzub (Ukrainian: Тризуб, "trident") is the national coat of arms of Ukraine, featuring the same colors found on the Ukrainian flag; a blue shield with yellow trident, called the tryzub. It appears on the Presidential standard of Ukraine. Blue colored tridents are considered to be irregular representation by the Ukrainian Heraldry Society.
The small coat of arms was officially adopted on 19 February 1992, while constitutional provisions exist for establishing the great coat of arms, which is not yet officially adopted. The small coat of arms was designed by Andriy Grechylo, Olexiy Kokhan and Ivan Turetskyi. It is a representation of the seal-trident of Vladimir the Great.
The history of the trident symbol as featured in the current Ukrainian coat of arms is more than 1000 years old. The first known archeological and historical evidence of this symbol can be found on the seals of the Rurik dynasty. The tryzub was stamped on the gold and silver coins issued by Prince Vladimir the Great (980–1015), might have inherited the symbol from his ancestors (such as Sviatoslav I Igorevich) as a dynastic coat of arms and passed it on to his sons, Sviatopolk I (1015–19) and Yaroslav the Wise (1019–54).
The tryzub was also found on the bricks of the Church of the Tithes in Kiev, the tiles of the Dormition Cathedral in Volodymyr-Volynskyi, and the stones of other churches, castles, and palaces. There are many examples of it used on ceramics, weapons, rings, medallions, seals, and manuscripts. Since the tryzub was so widely used, it evolved many variations without losing its basic structure. Almost 200 medieval variations of the tryzub have been discovered in Ukraine.
From trident to falcon
There is no sure and definite interpretation of the symbol; however, most historians agree that it most probably depicts a stylized falcon which according to the Slavic mythology was the Primary god (Pershoboh). In Christianity, a descending falcon, just as dove (with head downwards, as in case of Ukraine´s trident) also symbolizes the Holy Spirit. This is the most likely explanation, as the symbol appears during the years surrounding the Christianization, and is furthermore identical to modern representations of the descending falcon.
Depictions of a flying falcon with a cross above its head have been found in Old Ladoga, the first seat of Kievan Rurik dynasty, of Scandinavian lineage. Such falcon, along with a cross are also featured on the coins of Olaf Guthfrithsson, Viking konung. Falconry for centuries has been a royal sport in Europe. Gyrfalcon (known also as Norwegian falcon) was considered a royal bird and is mentioned (ukr.: кречет) in one of the earliest epics of Ruthenia, the 12th century The Tale of Igor's Campaign. Being a highly prized hunting bird of Kings and Emperors in the Middle Ages, gyrfalcon is also the traditional symbol of Iceland, the land of Vikings. Every year, the Danish government sent a ship to Iceland to bring gyrfalcons. White gyrfalcon on a blue field was the Iceland's coat of arms from 1903 until 1919, being depicted on the Icelandic royal flag. The Order of the Falcon remains to be one of the highest presidential awards in Viking Iceland. It also features on the old Icelandic 5 krona banknote. Due to its rarity and the difficulties involved in obtaining it, in European falconry the Gyrfalcon was reserved for kings and nobles; very rarely was a man of lesser rank seen with a Gyrfalcon on his fist. In 2011 the market value of one gyrfalcon is estimated at 30,000 - 50,000 USD. The descending "trident" form stands also for the hunting position of the gyrfalcon, as falling upon its prey. The interwoven spiral style of Ukraine trident (stylized flying falcon) resembles the Jelling style, the Scandinavian animal art during the 10th century. The use of this symbol in Ukraine has been supplanted since the 11th century by the Christian tradition of using the images of the saints (most notably Saint George or Saint Michael) considered to be the protectors of the ruling family, and later by Galician or Cossack heraldic or cultural images.
Great coat of arms
Constitutional provisions exist for the establishment of a Great Coat of Arms of Ukraine, although it was never officially adopted and was published in various heraldic sources. In this variant, the shield is supported by a lion from the Galician Coat of Arms on the left and a Cossack in traditional dress, wielding a musket, the symbol of the Cossack Hetmanate on the right. The Coat of Arms is crowned with the crown of Vladimir the Great, symbolizing Ukrainian sovereignty and decorated with viburnum and wheat at the bottom.
The official adoption of the Great Coat of Arms has to be endorsed by a majority of two thirds vote in the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament.
The trident was not thought of as a national symbol until 1917, when one of the most prominent Ukrainian historians, Mykhailo Hrushevsky, proposed to adopt it as a national symbol (alongside other variants, including an arbalet, a bow or a cossack carrying a musket, i.e. images that carried considerable historical and cultural and heraldic significance for Ukraine). On 22 March 1918, the Central Rada (parliament) adopted it as the coat of arms of the short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic.
The Tryzub was also used, in conjunction with the Russian tricolor, as the symbol of the anti-communist movement National Alliance of Russian Solidarists in the early 20th century. Furthermore the Tryzub is heavily used in the military heraldry of the Italian Army to commemorate the Italian participation on the Eastern Front during World War II. At least 36 units of the Italian Army carry the Tryzub in their Coat of Arms, as they were awarded a Medal for Military Valor during their service on the territory of Ukraine.
The Tryzub on the small Coat of Arms of the Ukrainian People's Republic
Coat of Arms of the West Ukrainian People's Republic
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Coats of arms of Ukraine.|
- Serhiy Plachynda. The dictionary of Slavic mythology. (Ukrainian)
- Coat of arms of Rurik found in Ladoga. (Russian)
- Rurik (Norse leader) Britannica Online Encyclopedia
- The Order of the Falcon.
- Virtual Iceland: Fálki - Gyrfalcon.
- Berners, Juliana (1486): The Boke of St. Albans. St. Albans Press, London.
- На Камчатке у браконьера изъяли вымирающих кречетов. (Russian)
- Constitution of Ukraine, Article 20.
- Orange Revolution serves as a model for public school students in the South Bronx, The Ukrainian Weekly (4 September 2005)
- Svoboda party – the new phenomenon on the Ukrainian right-wing scene by Tadeusz Olszański, Centre for Eastern Studies (July 5, 2011)
- Pritsak, Omeljan (1998). The Origins of the Old Rus' Weights and Monetary Systems. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. ISBN 0-916458-48-2.
- Zhukovsky, Arkadii (1993). "Trident (tryzub)". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. vol. 5. Retrieved 2009-03-26.