Coat of arms of Bavaria

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Coat of arms of Bavaria
Coat of arms of Bavaria.svg
Bayern Wappen.svg
Lesser coat of arms of Bavaria
Armiger Free State of Bavaria
Adopted 5 June 1950
Escutcheon Quarterly: (1) sable, a lion rampant Or, armed and langued gules; (2) per fess indented gules and argent; (3) argent, a panther rampant azure, armed Or and langued gules; (4) Or, three lions passant guardant sable, armed and langued gules. Overall an inescutcheon fusilly in bend argent and azure.
Supporters Two rampant lions Or langued and armed Gules
Bavarian herald Jörg Rügen wearing a tabard of the arms around 1510.
Arms of Wittelsbach (1703)[1]

The coat of arms of the German state of Bavaria has greater and lesser versions. It had been introduced by law fully by 5 June 1950:

Article 1 (2) The colours of the state are white and blue.

— State Government, Constitution of the Free State of Bavaria of 2 December 1946; Bavarian Law and Official Gazette 1946, p. 333 ff.[2][3]

The meaning of the coat of arms[edit]

The modern coat of arms was designed by Eduard Ege, following heraldic traditions, in 1946.

  • First Quarter (The Golden Lion): At the dexter chief, sable, a lion rampant Or, armed and langued gules. This represents the administrative region of Upper Palatinate. It is identical to the coat of arms of the Electorate of the Palatinate.
  • Second Quarter (The "Franconian Rake"): At the sinister chief, per fess dancetty, gules and argent. This represents the administrative regions of Upper, Middle and Lower Franconia. This was the coat of arms of the prince bishops of Würzburg, who were also dukes of Franconia.[4]
  • Third Quarter (The Blue Panther): At the dexter base, argent, a panther rampant azure, armed Or. This represents the regions of Lower and Upper Bavaria.[3]
  • Fourth Quarter (The Three Lions): At the sinister base, Or, three lions passant guardant Sable, armed Gules. This represents Swabia.[3]
  • The White-And-Blue Inescutcheon (Herzschild = "Heart Shield"): The escutcheon of white and blue oblique fusils was originally the coat of arms of the Counts of Bogen, adopted in 1242 by the House of Wittelsbach. The white-and-blue fusils are indisputably the emblem of Bavaria and the heart shield today symbolizes Bavaria as a whole. Along with the People's Crown, it is officially used as the Minor Coat of Arms.[3]
  • The People's Crown: The four coat fields with the heart shield in the centre are crowned with a golden band with precious stones decorated with five ornamental leaves. This crown appeared for the first time in the coat of arms in 1923 to symbolize sovereignty of the people after the dropping out of the royal crown.[3]


Bavaria was one of the stem duchies of the Eastern Franconian Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. The House of Wittelsbach, who ruled in Bavaria for about eight centuries, used the coat lozengy since 1242, later quartering it with the lion of the Electorate of the Palatinate.

Bavaria became a kingdom in 1806, and in 1835 a new coat of arms was created, similar to today's but representing some regions by different coats of arms. The first known coat of arms of the house of Wittelsbach is Azure, a golden fess dancetty. When Louis I married Ludmilla, the widow of Albert III, Count of Bogen, he adopted the coat of arms of the counts of Bogen together with their land. The number of lozenges varied; from 15th century 21 were used, increasing to 42 when Bavaria became a kingdom in 1806.[5]

Coat of arms of Electorate of Bavaria (Elector Palatine)
Date in use 1623–1807
Description Used on the flags of this period,[6] the coat of arms of the joint holding of Duke of Bavaria and Elector Palatine (commonly known as the Elector of Bavaria, as the titles were so closely linked) shows the historical arms of the Bavaria and those of the Palatinate, with an inescutcheon of a golden orb on a red field for their position as Imperial Archsteward of the Holy Roman Empire
Coat of arms of Kingdom of Bavaria (1807–35)
Date in use 1807–35
Description Marquee and regal crown showing the status of Bavaria has been raised to Kingdom. The inescutcheon is for the ruling house.
Coat of arms of Kingdom of Bavaria (1835–1918)
Date in use 1835–1918
Description The first quarter is the golden lion of the Palatinate. The second field is the Franconian rake. The third field showed a red and white striped field with a gold pale, the coat of arms of the margraviate of Burgau, representing Swabia. The fourth field showed a blue lion with a golden crown on white ground (the Lion of Veldenz), representing the ruling branch of the house of Wittelsbach. Inescutcheon for Bavaria itself.

Lit: Wilhelm Volkert; Die Bilder in den Wappen der Wittelsbacher. (Wittelsbach und Bayern, Köln, 1980)

Coat of arms of Kraiburg[edit]

The arms of Kraiburg and a map showing the area represented

In the eleventh century the counts of Kraiburg, a branch of the counts of Sponheim of Rhenish Hesse, acquired land in Upper and Lower Bavaria. In 1259, after the death of the last male member of the family, the shire was sold to the dukes of Bavaria. The coat of arms of the family was the "Lion of Sponheim", although the charge was not a lion but a "panthier" (pronounced French), a mixture of a dragon and a lion. Nowadays, the fire-spitting panthier/panther is the Coat of Arms of the city of Ingolstadt. The coat of arms created for the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1835 included the 'lion'.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Siebmacher, Johann (1703). Erneuertes und vermehrtes Wappenbuch... Nürnberg: Adolph Johann Helmers. pp. Part II Table 4. 
  2. ^ Schmöger (translator), Marcus (28 January 2001). "Constitution of Bavaria 1946". Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Scheufele, Karl Michael. "Coat of Arms and Flags". Bavarian State Chancery. Archived from the original on 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  4. ^ Schiering, Timo; Christian Kübrich (2005). "Die Wappen der Deutschen Bundesländer". Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg; Fakultät GGeo; Lehrstuhl für Historische Hilfswissenschaften. Retrieved 2016-02-09. 
  5. ^ Biebel, Christoph (2006). "Das Wappen der Wittelsbacher" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-10-11. [dead link]
  6. ^ Electorate of Bavaria (1688) at Flags of the World; accessed 2009-05-21