Monday, April 11, 2016

The Russian Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms for the Russian Federation is adapted from the coat of arms that was used during Imperial Russia until 1917. All the Romanov's get killed, there's a big revolution and BAM! The Soviet Union is born. Obviously, this emblem with its notions of imperialism did not reflect the goals of the new communist regime, so it was abolished. the Imperial coat of arms was replaced by the well-known hammer and sickle. It was not until after the fall of the Soviet Union in '93, that the imperial coat of arms was adapted again to suit today's Russian Federation. It is said the the crest has been changed many times since its creation during the reign of Ivan III. The current crest was designed by Yevgeny Ukhnalyov.

The design of the coat of arms features a double-headed, crowned eagle (Russia's national bird called a Tundra Swan). The bird is holding an imperial scepter in one hand and an imperial orb in the other (you know what Elsa was holding when she was coronated? Her hands were shaking cuz she was trying not freeze everything? Yeah, you do. Great.) These guys represent Russia's sovereignty.

The other main feature of the crest is the mounted, sword-wielding soldier fighting off the dragon in the center of the image. He is supposedly meant to represent Saint George. Today nothing is mentioned of the religious nature of this figure to keep in line with Russia's modern secular character.

This figure is a common feature on Russian souvenirs like ushanka hats, jackets, and patches. It is also seen in many prison tattoos. The convicts cover themselves in many symbolic tattoos. When the coat of arms is used it can either mean that they were in the army or that they hold the government responsible for their lack of freedom.

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