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National symbol

Sunday, 24 June 2007
Poland's official symbol is that of a white, crowned eagle against a red background. In 1295 King Przemysl II of Poland accepted this eagle as the official emblem of the Kingdom of Poland. Since then it has undergone various modifications, yet remains Poland's emblem.

The story behind this choice is connected with the legend of Poland's founding. Three brothers: Lech, Czech and Rus were traveling through the woods looking for land where they could settle. When they finally came out of woods, they saw a vast valley surrounded by hills and lakes. On the top of the highest hill was an old oak tree where an eagle had its nest. When brothers approached the oak tree, the eagle flew down and sat on Lech's shoulder. At that moment, Lech decided to adopt the white eagle as the emblem of his nation and founded his nation around the oak tree. Its name was Gniezno, which later became the first capital of Poland. Lech's brothers, Czech and Rus, each went off to look for their own lands to settle. Czech went to the south and founded the Czech Republic, and Rus went to the east and founded Russia.
 

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