The Shield of the Czech Republic
The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa granted a coat of arms to Bohemia in 1158. It had a double-tailed
"white rampant" lion on a field of red. Another source said the lion and the eagle began their association with
Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia in the 13th century, under Premysl I.
In modern times, during the "life" of Czechoslovakia, a single lion had
a blue shield on its shoulder for Slovakia. The shield is now gone with
the secession and independence of Slovakia.
The three original lands of the Czech Crown are represented on the
national emblem by three crests: a silver split-tailed lion representing
Bohemia, a red and silver or white checkered eagle representing Moravia
and a black eagle with red beak and claws and a white sash, on a silver
crescent representing Silesia. The lion, king of beasts, and the eagle,
king of birds, wear gold crowns.
The placement of the symbols has several facets. The most obvious is
symmetry and, thus, aesthetically pleasing. On a deeper level, the
shield's organization shows the three regions and how Bohemia unites them
as a nation: vertically and horizontally. Bohemia is connected with
another area and even Moravia and Silesia touch corners so no region is
isolated from the others, much like the actual nation.