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Deutsche Wappen (Gemeindewappen/Kreiswappen)
German Civic Heraldry

KEMPTEN

State : Bayern
Urban district (Stadtkreis) : Kempten

Origin/meaning:
Kempten was an Imperial city in medieval times and thus entitled to use the imperial eagle in its arms and seals. The oldest seals, however do not show the eagle. The oldest seal dates from 1379 and shows the patron saint of the city at the time, St. Gordianus, with a small shield. Later sources indicate that the shield was horizontally divided from silver and blue. The second seal dates from 1403 and shows St. Hildegard, who was combined with the arms in a later 15th century seal.

In 1488 Emperor Friedrich III granted the city new arms, a vertically divided shield gold and black, with the imperial eagle in the opposite colours.
In the late 16th century the city started to use the symbols used on the local coins, an eagle with the letter K on its breast. These arms were used until 1819.

In 1818 the city was combined with the Imperial Abbey Kempten and the new arms showed the imperial eagle from the city arms, and a tower taken from the arms of the Abbey.


The arms of Kempten as shown on a postcard from 1905

The arms as shown by Hupp in the 1920s

Literature : Stadler, K. : Deutsche Wappen - Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Angelsachsen Verlag, 1964-1971, 8 volumes.



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