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Herbarz Miast Polskich
The arms show the white eagle of the Piast dynasty, the first royal family of Poland and fouders of this city.Siebmacher mentioned in the 18th century an old early medieval seal of the city showing the bust of a king in a field with small crosses. However, there are no actual images of this seal found. It is thus unkknown where he got his information.
The oldest known seal dates from the middle of the 14th century and shows an eagle and a crowned head in a field scattered with stars. Most likely the seal indicated that the city was the place where the Polish kings were crowned until the 14th century; showing the king's head above the royal eagle.
A later seal (used until 1638) shows only a shield with the Polish eagle and the shield crowned with the royal crown, which is thus identical to the arms used at present.
In the 19th century the city used a different design, namely a flying Polish eagle over a nest, the shield still crowned. In the late 19th century until 1918 the seals showed the Prussian eagle instead of the Polish eagle.
In 1894 Hupp showed as arms for Gnesen a crowned Polish eagle, but in 1917 he reverted to the 14th century seal as the arms for the city.
After 1918 the city reverted to the crowned eagle again. After 1945 the crown was removed from the eagle itself, and presently the city uses the crown only on the shield.
Seal from around 1900
The arms in the Kaffee Hag albums +/- 1915
The arms in the Kawa Hag album +/- 1932
The arms in 1964
The arms on a postcard
The arms in 1994
Literature : Plenako and Wanag, 1994