Coat of arms of England: history and description. What does he have in common with the emblem of Great Britain?
England is the largest territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the Middle Ages, it was an independent and quite influential kingdom. It was then that the first emblem of England appeared, and its own heraldic history began. We will talk more about this later.
Description of the coat of arms of England
The modern emblem of England is one of the oldest state symbols, which was designed as a coat of arms. She appeared at the dawn of heraldry, presumably when King Richard the Lionheart ascended the throne. Since then, it has changed about eight times, and then returned to its original form.
The coat of arms of England depicts three walking lions, located above each other on a red background. In heraldry, they are usually called "walking lions, looking really."The animals rest on three paws, and the fourth lift up. The head of the lions turned to the viewer. Their claws are blue, and blue tongues look out of open mouths.
In the coat of arms tradition, the lion is one of the most common figures and is found on modern and ancient emblems. This animal is associated with courage, courage and nobility, therefore its symbol has long been considered royal.
In heraldry, there are lions reaching, rising, lying, sitting, with raised paws or turned heads, etc. Moreover, all the elements of their figure have a specific meaning, and each posture has its own name. The coat of arms of England depicts walking lions, or leopards, on the alert. Because of looking tongues and claws, they are also called armed. Similar images of leopards are present on the emblems of Estonia, Denmark, as well as on the symbols of the Duchy of Aquitaine, which existed in the Middle Ages. In other poses, lions are found on the emblems of the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Finland, Norway, Luxembourg and Scotland.
History of the coat of arms of England
Since the 12th century, the English national emblem has changed more than eight times.At various times, it was complemented by the emblems of France, Ireland, Scotland, House of Nassau and the Kingdom of Hanover, depending on the conclusion of dynastic unions and all sorts of political changes.
The origin of the coat of arms of England in its modern version is associated with Richard the first - the heir to the House of Plantagenets. The fact that the three walking leopards were symbols of the king, show the image on one of his seals. His successors used this coat of arms until the year 1340. Interestingly, in the genus Plantagenet the lions on the emblems have met before. So, in one of the portraits of Geoffroy of Anjou, there was a shield with five reaching leopards on a blue background.
In 1340, Edward III ascended the throne, who declared himself king not only of England, but also of France. His claims diverged from local inheritance laws, and the Hundred Years War broke out between the two states. At that time, the coat of arms of England was supplemented with French gold lilies on a blue background.
Under Richard II in 1395, the composition of the emblem became more complicated. The heraldic shield was divided into two vertical parts. On the right, a golden cross with tips in the form of lilies and five golden birds were depicted as a tribute to the memory of a relative of Richard Edward the Confessor.In the left part were depicted French lilies and English lions.
In the 16th century, elements with the generic emblems of Queen Maria Tudor and Philip II and the lands ruled by their dynasties appeared on the coat of arms. Thus, it was supplemented with symbols of Leon, Granada, Castile, Austria, Burgundy, Brabant, Flanders.
In the 17th century, the coat of arms changed again. It still depicted lilies and leopards, and next to them was a golden harp, symbolizing Ireland, and a red rising lion, symbolizing Scotland.
Coat of Arms of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain is a relatively new state on the world map. It was formed only in 1922, including the lands of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Of course, the long history of Great Britain is the history of its constituent territories, and its emblem only confirms this.
The composition of the national emblem of the kingdom almost completely repeats the coat of arms of England of the XVII century. It is distinguished only by the absence of French lilies and a more magnificent frame. Its heraldic shield is divided into four parts. Right above and below to the left are three walking leopards against a red background.In the upper left quarter is the figure of a red rising lion on a yellow background, bordered by two red lines. The bottom right is a golden harp on a blue background.
The shield of the coat of arms is crowned with a knight's tournament helmet with a crown and is framed by a blue ribbon of the Order of the Garter with the inscription “Shame on the one who thinks bad of it” in French. The shield on the right is supported by a standing golden lion with a red tongue and claws. To his left, he is kept by a white unicorn with a golden horn, hooves and a harness. Under the feet of animals grows green grass, covered with national plants-symbols of the territories of Great Britain: thistle, roses and clover. There is also a ribbon with the motto “God and my right” in French.