From Heraldry of the World
|Heraldry of the World|
Civic heraldry of Germany - Deutsche Wappen (Gemeindewappen/Kreiswappen)
The arms are made up of parts of the arms of the former counties Schmalkalden, Meiningen and Suhl-Land.
The rooster, derived from the arms of the counts of Henneberg, was present in all three former arms. The second quarter is the lion of Hessen, and symbolises the fact that the area was owned by the counts of Hessen from 1360-1866. The banner in the third quarter is taken from the arms of Meiningen and indicates the fact that Meiningen was owned by the Prince-Bishops of Würzburg. The arms of Saxony in the fourth quarter are a reminder of the Duchy Sachsen-Meiningen from 1680-1918.
Literature : Linder and Olzog, 1996.