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Hessen ~Coat of Arms
The arms show the lion of the arms of the Counts of Hessen and Thüringen. The Counts of Hessen descended from the Counts of Thüringen and both Hessen and Thüringen use the striped lion in their arms. The lion has been used by the counts of Thüringen from the end of the 12th century. One of the oldest known seals shows the striped lion as well as the cross of the German Order (see below). The stripes differed between the centuries, but in the 15th century the present number and order (upper one is silver) were determined. In all later arms of Hessen the lion was present.
The arms of Count Konrad of Hessen (died 1234).
Hessen was split in 1567 in Hessen-Darmstadt and Hessen(-Kassel).
The lion was used as the sole symbol in the arms of the Grand-Duchy Hessen-Darmstadt one of the major predescessors of the present state. The arms, used from 1808-1902, showed the lion holding a sword. The sword was taken from the old medieval title of the counts as ' Defenders between Rhine and Weser'. The arms were crowned and placed on a Royal Mantle of ermine. Around the shield the chains of the Order of Ludwig and the Order of the Golden Lion were placed. (see below). The arms were somewhat simplified in 1902, but the lion with the sword was still the only figure on the shield.
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Last Up-Date 11/21/2006 08:28:17 PM