The district was formed in 1994 from the previous Kamenz district, the northern parts of the Dresden-Land district, around Radeberg, and the Hoyerswerda district, except the town of Hoyerswerda, which became a district-free city. From 1994 to 1996 it was called Westlausitz - Dresdner Land, but then renamed to Kamenz again. In August 2008, the Kamenz district and Hoyerswerda were merged into the district of Bautzen.
The colors of the coat of arms are those of the Upper Lusatia. The black wing on the right side is the symbol of the Lords of Kamenz. The linden leaf in the top if the left half stands for the Sorbian minority. The wavy line below symbolizes the three rivers Röder, Elster and Spree. The three rings in the bottom symbolize the unification of the three previous districts, the symbol was taken from the play "Nathan der Weise" by Lessing.