Coat of arms
The first example of the coat of arms is on the majestic seal of the king Przemysł II, dated 1295.
In the result of Krewa union (1385) between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania have been introduced the new coat of arms of the united countries. The sheild was quartered, having in the 1st and the 3rd the arms of Poland (Orzeł Biały – the White Eagle), and in the 2nd and 4th the arms of Lithuania (Vitis – the Pursuit).
From 1573 to these arms were added inescitheons with the personal arms of the Polish Kings. Paralel to the arms of the Polish-Lithuanian were in use arms of the Kingdom of Poland, ie. the white crowned eagle in the red field. Only his artistic shape was changing according to the changes in the art. Below you can see some examples.
When after 123 years of partitions between Russia, Austria and Prussia Poland as an independent state was resurrected, on 1 August 1919 the historic White Eagle was restored as the national coat of arms. His shape was similar to those used at the end of the XVIII century.
In December of 1927 the new form of the coat of arms was enacted. The author, architect Zygmunt Kamiński was not acquainted with the heraldic rules and made some grave errors. He has made crown solid, without clearance between the fleurons and made eagle’s legs white instead of yellow (gold).
In 1956 the Polish Government in Exile (London) has placed the closed crown on the eagle’s head, but has not changed the shape of the eagle.
From 1944 to 1989 the communist government retained the former shape of the eagle, but has remowed the crown. The arms of 1927 were reintroduced (with minimal changes) in 1990.
Polish national colours, white abr red stem from the coat of arms. They were enacted on 7 February 1831 as colours of the arms of Kingdom of Poland (white eagle on red field) and of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (white knight and his horse on red field).
The colors of white and red have been on 1 August 1919 recognized as Polish national colors, and formed the first Polish national flag in proportions of 5:8. From 1919 to 1927 the red of the flag was quite dark, from 1928 to 1980 it was cinabar red, and since 1980 is a bit darker red.