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Coat of arms of Montenegro
Coat of arms of Montenegro.svg
The Government of Montenegro usually use Coat of Arms on red background
Adopted 13 July 2004

The Coat of arms of Montenegro (Montenegrin: Грб Црне Горе, Grb Crne Gore) was officially adopted by the law passed in the Parliament on 13 July 2004. It is now the central motif of the Flag of Montenegro, as well as the coat of arms of the Army of Montenegro. Also it was constitutionally sanctioned by the Constitution proclaimed on 2 October 2007.



It represents the two-headed eagle in flight, of the House of Petrović-Njegoš, a symbol of Byzantine and ultimately Roman origin. It symbolizes the unity of Church and state, that is: either the unity, or the close connections between the Church and the state. The motif was used by the medieval rulers of Zeta - the House of Crnojević, as well as various other European dynasties. The layout of the Montenegrin coat is inspired by that of the Russian Empire, with which the ruling family of Montenegro had close dynastic and political ties in the 19th century when the coat was first adopted in its present form.

The lion passant in the centre is a sign of episcopal authority and represents the Biblical theme of the Resurrection, or Christ Ruler of All (Christos Pantokrator, the Lion of Judah). It bears some similarity to the motif present in the arms of Venice, which had considerable influence in the history of Montenegro. After Montenegro regained its independence, it gradually became a theocracy in order to preserve unity before numerous Turkish invasions of the country. For this reason, the authority of the church was reflected in various insignia of the age. After the establishment of the secular dynastic succession in 1851, the lion was placed beneath the eagle, while the initials of the ruler stood on the shield: notably, that of Danilo I, Prince of Montenegro, Danilo II, Prince of Montenegro and King Nicholas I of Montenegro. Curiously, Danilo I was still a prince-bishop while the standard bearing his initials was used. The modern coat of arms placed the lion d'or back on the shield, erasing that monarchic symbol. Today, Montenegro is a secular, democratic republic, so the fact that the crown of the Petrovic-Njegos dynasty was also represented created some controversy at the time of its adoption. However, this solution proved extremely popular and the coat of arms can be seen not only in schools, government offices, etc., but in many private houses, places of business, and private universities and is a common display of national pride.

In recent years several Eastern European nations have used a crown to signify their royal heritage while being republics, which is heraldicly wrong. Even if Russia and Poland have both restored coat of arms bearing crowns, and Austria or Finland have always had them, those crowns are within the shield, which is of the utmost heraldic significance. If willing, republics should crown their arms with mural crown, such as Malta or the Spanish Republic.

Description of the Coat-of-arms

The coat of arms of Montenegro is in shape of a golden crowned double-headed eagle with it wings in flight, with a scepter in its right and an orb in its left claw on a red base. On the eagle's chest is a shield with a golden lion passant. The lion is on a green field (base) with a blue background. The crown above the eagle's heads and the scepter are golden topped with a cross. The orb is blue with golden sheaths and cross.

Use of the state symbols

The coat of arms and the flag are used in the shape and contents determined by law. The use of the coat of arms and the flag is free in the artistic creativity and the educational work, in manners not disturbing the public morale, reputation and dignity of Montenegro. In the coat of arms and the flag, it is not permitted to correct, add or change anything. Exceptionally, and if it is determined with special regulations, the coat of arms and the flag could be used as component part of other emblems or signs of the state bodies and other institutions. The coat of arms and the flag can not be used as merchant or service seal, sample or model, nor as any other sign marking the merchandise and services. The coat of arms and the flag can not be used if they are defective or otherwise inappropriate for use due to the unsuitable appearance. A defective or unsuitable for use coat of arms or such flag are revoked from use.

When displayed in Montenegro together with one or more coats of arms of other states or international organizations, the coat of arms takes the place of honor. The place of honor is considered the central place in a circle, the top of the semicircle, the first place in a row, column or group of coats of arms, the place on the right, as seen from the front, from the coat of arms of another state or international organization. On scripts it takes place on the top center or upper left angle.


The coat of arms is used

1) In the state seal; 2) In the seals of other state bodies and local self-management bodies; 3) In the official halls of the state bodies and the local self-management bodies and on official inscriptions on the buildings in which these are located; 4) In rooms of educational institutions in which the educational process is performed and on inscriptions on buildings in which these institutions are located; 5) On buildings of the representations of Montenegro abroad; 6) On official acts used by the representatives of the state bodies; 7) On charters, diplomas and recognitions granted by Montenegro; 8) On diplomas and attestations on finished education; 9) On identity cards of members of the Parliament, members of the Government, judges, inspectors and other officials.

The coat of arms may be used

1) During political, scientific, cultural, artistic, sporting and other manifestations in which Montenegro is represented; 2) On official acknowledgments, greeting cards, invitations and other acts of the President of Montenegro, the Chairman of the Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Chairman of the High Court, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme State Attorney and the Human Rights Ombudsman; 3) On official uniforms; 4) In artistic creations and in educational work; 5) In other cases defined by the law.

Historical Coat of Arms

The history of the state coat of arms begins with the Crnojevics dynasty in 15th century. Their family arms - golden crowned two-headed eagle on the red background - laid the foundation of the Montenegrin state heraldry: the two-headed eagle became the standard symbol of the state. After gaining the power, the Petrovic-Njegos dynasty took the golden two-headed eagle as the state symbol. Vladika Danilo charged on its breast the Great Arms of the Petrovic-Njegos family (shield, crown, mantling), while his successor vladika Sava made major changes to the coat of arms: removed the family Great Arms from the eagle's breast, and added the scepter and orb ("the imperial egg") in its claws. He also added another symbol retained until present day - the golden lion passant - below the golden eagle. With Petar I, further rearrangement of the coat of arms took place: from the eagle he removed the royal insignia and charged on the eagle's breast the Middle Arms of the Petrovic-Njegos (the shield with the crown) while leaving the lion passant.

Prince Danilo also reorganized the Coat of Arms: he charged on the golden eagle's breast the shield where on the blue background the golden lion passant was on green ground. In one claw the eagle held the orb, and in the other a sword and the scepter.

In the time of prince then King Nicholas I, the sword was removed and later, in conformity with the Constitution of 1905, the color of the eagle was changed from golden to silver as well as the of the background of the shield with the lion - to red instead of blue. [1]

After the World War II Montenegrin statehood was reestablished and Montenegro became federal part of the Second Yugoslavia. New Coat of Arms was adopted in 1945 and it was designed in socialistic style: Laurel wreath with Red Star, while central motive was Chapel of Lovćen with sea waves in the background, representing the Montenegrin sea access. Coat of arms of the Federal State of Montenegro was made in 1944 by Milan Božović, latter it was stylized in 1946 by Milo Milunović, and afterwards slightly changed in 1963 and 1974 in the shape of red star. There had existed at least two versions from the times of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro.

In 1993, the Montenegrin parliament had changed the Coat of Arms, returning to historical heritage. The old Montenegrin state's Coat of Arms was restored, but redesigned in style of the Federal Coat of Arms. The Constitution of 1993 maintained "the tradition" of king Nikola: the adopted Coat of Arms was a crowned silver eagle with the orb in one and the scepter in the other claw, and charged on its breast was a red shield with the lion passant.

See also

External links



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