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Ukrainian Heraldry - Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of Ukraine: The Tryzub

The coat of arms of Ukraine is a powerful symbol that has deep historical roots. Here are the key details:

  1. Design and Symbolism:

    • The coat of arms features a blue shield with a golden trident. In Ukrainian, it is colloquially known as the tryzub (pronounced [trɪˈzub]).
    • The trident represents strength, unity, and national identity. It has become synonymous with Ukraine itself.
  2. Historical Origins:

    • The modern trident symbol was officially adopted as the coat of arms of the Ukrainian People’s Republicin February 1918.
    • Its design has precedents in the seals of Kievan Rus’, the medieval state that laid the foundation for Ukrainian culture and identity.
    • Archaeological evidence shows that the trident tamga (seal) was used by rulers such as Sviatoslav I and other members of the Rurik dynasty.
  3. Volodymyr the Great:

    • Vladimir the Great (Volodymyr) stamped the trident on gold and silver coins during his reign (980–1015).
    • He likely inherited the symbol from his ancestors, including Sviatoslav I, as a dynastic coat of arms.
    • The trident was passed down to his sons, Sviatopolk I and Yaroslav the Wise.
  4. Symbolic Meaning:

    • The trident embodies several layers of significance:
      • Rurikide Dynasty: As the coat of arms of the Riurykide dynasty, it represents continuity and lineage.
      • National Identity: It became a national symbol during the struggle for independence.
      • Historical Legacy: The trident connects modern Ukraine to its ancient past.
  5. Soviet Period and Independence:

    • During the Soviet era (1919–1991), Ukraine’s state symbols featured a hammer and sickle over the rising sun.
    • After gaining independence in 1991, Ukraine returned to the trident as its official coat of arms.
  6. Small vs. Greater Coat of Arms:

    • The small coat of arms (the blue shield with the golden trident) was officially adopted in 1992.
    • Constitutional provisions exist for establishing the greater coat of arms, which includes the small coat of arms and the coat of arms of the Zaporizhian Host.

In summary, the Ukrainian trident is more than just a heraldic emblem—it embodies the resilience, heritage, and aspirations of a nation that has endured centuries of history and challenges12. 🇺🇦🌟

!Ukrainian Trident