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Red and silver enamel sign featuring the Polish Imperial eagle emblem

Object | Accession Number: 1992.119.1

Oval sign depicting the Republic of Poland’s national emblem, the White Eagle, used between 1927 and 1939. A crowned eagle had been used as a Polish symbol for centuries, and first appeared on the official state coat of arms in 1295. Poland lost its independence in 1795, only regaining it in 1918, following World War I. In 1919, Poland’s government adopted the crowned white eagle as the official state symbol. This took a variety of forms until Zygmunt Kamiński, a university professor of architecture and art, was commissioned to create an official design signed into law in 1927. The design was likely based on a 1924 plaque honoring Prime Minister Ignacy Jan Paderewski, created by French sculptor, Elisa Beetz-Charpentier. Kamiński’s design was used until the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. The German and subsequent Russian occupying forces banned the use of the state symbol, although it continued to be used by the Polish Underground and the Polish Government in Exile. After World War II ended in May 1945, Poland regained its independence, but soon became controlled by a communist regime under the Soviet sphere of influence. A modified version of the White Eagle became a national symbol again. New legislation adopted in 1955 removed the golden crown and border from Kamiński’s design. When the Third Republic of Poland was established in 1989, the White Eagle’s golden crown was restored.

Date
use:  1927 December 13-1939 September 01
Geography
use: Poland.
Classification
Information Forms
Genre/Form
National emblems.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
 
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:25:43
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn5798