October 27, 2021 3 min read
The eagle and the falcon, two majestic birds, both call Poland home. Though they share many similarities, each has come to represent different aspects of the country. The eagle, being a powerful and determined creature, is often used as a symbol of Poland - particularly through the Polish flag with its coat of arms.
Many people may confuse the two or even add hawks to the mix. But the eagle and falcon are both integral pieces of the Polish identity, with the eagle being the more iconic of the two. You may have noticed this eagle symbol being used by the Polish diaspora. On the other hand, many Polish organizations opt to use the falcon as their symbol.
So, when it comes to the Polish Eagle or Falcon, no one is wrong. Both birds have a special place in Poland's history and culture.
The Coat of Arms of Poland, also known as the White Eagle, symbolizes Poland's sovereignty and independence. The Polish coat of arms, also known as the White Eagle, is Poland’s national symbol and has been a part of Polish heraldry since the 13th century. It's a timeless symbol that has stayed throughout many obstacles and trials this country went through during its turbulent history. Let's take a closer look at the Polish Coat of Arms and its deep meaning behind it.
The white eagle and the coat of arms was first used by King Bolesław I the Brave in 1295 upon the establishment of the Kingdom of Poland. Originally, it was a gold heraldic eagle on a red background, but it was eventually changed to white in order to better represent the white-and-red colors of flags used by Poland’s armed forces. The eagle was also chosen because eagles are seen as majestic and noble animals that have connections with certain divine powers in Jewish theology, Christian symbolism, and pre-Christian Baltic mythology.
Under communism, however, there was an intentional effort to strip away any symbols related to monarchy or aristocracy. As a result, images depicting the eagle without a crown began appearing widely between 1947 and 1949 – most notably on passports issued during this period. This continued until 1989, when democracy returned to Poland and symbols associated with royalty began reappearing in popular culture.
The eagle remains an important symbol for Poles today as it represents strength - particularly against foreign powers - as well resilience against adversity following turbulent times throughout history, including war disasters and oppressive regimes like Nazi Germany’s rule of Poland from 1939–45 and the Soviet Union from 1945–89. Although variations exist depending on specific circumstances or contexts, today’s examples typically include both gold feathers for non-monarchical applications whilst also featuring a small gold crown atop its head when needed for more formal contexts such as official documents like coins or stamp seals used in political ceremonies or as emblems representing higher state offices like presidents or prime ministers (or banners used by MPs ).
The Polish Falcons of America was founded in 1887 by Polish immigrants who wanted to promote physical fitness and honor the Polish culture. The falcon symbolizes their courage and determination in the face of adversity.
The Polish Falcons have various activities and sports teams. The Polish Falcons of America is another organization that seeks to champion Polish heritage and support members of the Polish community in a variety of ways. Are you a member of the Polish Falcons of America or any other Polish organization?
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