@atorrante inspired me to make this topic here when the question about flags for user profiles came up earlier this week. A name like “Fun with Flags” ventures into vexillology, but I like heraldry more, so I came up with a different name.
What I want this topic to start with, because it ties in with everybody’s favourite board game and I myself have a personal connection to it, is this coat of arms here.
Wappen des Kantons Freiburg
armoiries du Canton de Fribourg
Arms of the Canton of Fribourg
Geteilt von Schwarz und Silber
coupé de sable et d’argent
per fess sable and argent
These arms seem to be in continuous use since the foundation of the city of the same name in 1157, who in turn eventually developped arms on her own (a white castle on a blue field). In the days of the old city-state, starting 1477 with the independence from Savoy, a combination of both arms was used for any purpose, but after the French revolution reached Switzerland, and city and canton became separate entities, the Black-and-White was used for the Canton and the other for the City alone.
Legend has it, that the founder, Berthold IV, Duke of Zähringen got lost hunting in the woods and found a coaler’s hut, where he could spend the night. The next day, he found that the coaler made his bed from flour bags while covering him with coal bags as a blanket, making his clothes black on top and white on the bottom. Berthold thus made them the colours of the city he is about to build.
Today, these arms and a flag with the same colours is used by authorities of the canton for many purposes such as decoration of buildings, car licence plates, letterheads, sigils, and police emblems. The general populace is free to fly them whenever they like. Unlike other countries we’re quite relaxed about flags.
The tax declaration form I receive every year as well as my old school reports feature them too. Also, the traditional cattle from our region is black-and-white. There used to be a distinct breed, the Fribourgeoise, but it went extinct in the 20th century. Today, we have Holstein of the same colours.
Yeah, so much for now.
Who’s got something interesting to say about a flag or coat of arms or japanese Mon they like or invented (or both)?