Your Polish Heraldry Revealed!
by Zbignew Chalmers
We all know that a rich world of genealogical and celtic national heritage can be unlocked by staring at kilts and looking up each Tartan plaid pattern and reading about it. But how many of us are aware of the shades of meaning and heritage behind the noble slavic patterns known collectively as Polka Dot? It’s not just fashion, it’s romantic history and cultural pride, so know where you stand—and where you came from—when you pick out your next summer dress.
Dating to the Iron Age, roundles of snow white on a sanguine background. Anka is the oldest of the tribal totems, used until recently in ribbons of distinction on military uniforms and in constructing the luggage of the modern warrior class.
Today thought to be festive, this pattern of red shields against a field of gold, is still incendiary in some areas of the Pursowic mountains. Avsenik commemorates the Battle of Hunzfeld in 1109, where brother fought brother as the Prussians under Henry V were repelled by Wrymouth.
Distinguished since the dawn of the Piest Dynasty, Bolislaw honors the bravery and sacrifice of the “Sto Bracia” or “100 Brothers” who stood abreast to repel Flemish invaders at Luzyce in 250. Favored in rural areas, but a very expensive material owing to the Krol Beetle used to obtain the rich crimson hue.
Commissioned by Boleslaw the Brave in 1000A.D. Six different colors varied on a field of white, to commemorate the formation of the city-state Gniezo brought about by the unification of the six bishops of Krakow. It is ascribed a jovial tone, and is favored both by residents of Gniezo and todays Diplomatic Corps.
Ascribed to the artisinal guilds of the Wegry valley, the circles of varying size and hue celebrate Royalty united with the aesthetic class during the tumultuous 7th century. The azure rings honor the passing of craftsmanship from one generation to the next (small circles to large), the orange and yellow honor the dairy farmers of the valley, and the grey the intricate metalwork practiced since the bronze age.
The second oldest pattern, taking its derivation from the biedronka or “ladybug” the personal crest of emperor Mieszko II Lambert circa 990. It has also been said to depict the mushrooms of Masowsze at night. Fierce warriors and practical rulers were proud to travel under this banner for hundreds of years.
One of the oldest patterns in Polish heraldry, first observed in vestal garments of Svetoid the pre-Christian Slavic god of war, fertility and abundance. Later adopted by Wladyslaw I to maintain familial continuity it is today used throughout the world on both handkerchiefs, undergarments, bow ties and vintage coat linings.
A migrant Romany corruption of Bolislaw pattern for the near-sighted agrarian class. Czech but sometimes confused with Polish.
Native to what is now modern day Zwiazek Wielecki, the crimson, verdent, red and aqua orbs symbolize both the original 4 allied slavic tribes, and the stars that shielded and protected them at night. American musician Lawrence Welk (nee Washington) adopted it as his own.
Legend has it that in the eighth century B.C. Celtic druids traveled by canoe to the shores of what is now modern Pomorze. Certain resemblances can be seen between the O’Shaugnessy tartan of Ireland and the similarly named OShaugnessi Polka Dot, which can be seen in the logo of Polish automobile manufacturer Spolz.