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Red and silver enamel sign featuring the Polish Imperial eagle emblem

Object | Accession Number: 1992.119.1

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    Red and silver enamel sign featuring the Polish Imperial eagle emblem


    Brief Narrative
    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.
    use:  1927 December 13-1939 September 01
    use: Poland.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
    Designer: Zygmunt Kamiński

    Physical Details

    Information Forms
    National emblems.
    Physical Description
    Oval, metal sign enameled in gray, red, white, and yellow. In the center is a heraldic eagle, with spread wings and its head turned to the left. The eagle wears a crown, has a stylized star on each wing and overlays a red shield outlined in yellow. The shield is rectangular, with rounded bottom corners, and a point at the bottom center. The oval sign has a gray background and is outlined in red and white. The enamel is partially worn off at the upper left corner of the shield.
    overall: Height: 19.500 inches (49.53 cm) | Width: 15.750 inches (40.005 cm)
    overall : metal, enamel

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The sign was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1992.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-14 07:08:03
    This page:

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