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Schweizer Wappen
Armorial de Suisse


Canton : Bern
Additions : 1919 Bümpliz

Wappen von Bern/Coat of arms of Bern / Armoiries de Berne

Official blazon

In Rot ein goldener Rechtsschrägbalken, belegt mit einem schreitenden schwarzen Bären mit roten Krallen.


The arms are canting (Bär = bear), and have been used since the 13th century. The oldest seal of the city dates from 1224 and shows already the bear, but not in a shield and not in a bend. The bear also appears on 13th century coins of the city (see below).

Siegel von Bern

The oldest seal from 1224
Siegel von Bern

The second seal (used until 1364)
Siegel von Bern

The fourth seal used from the 14th-17th century
Siegel von Bern

The fifth seal from 1364
Siegel von Bern

The seventh seal from the late 14th century
Siegel von Bern

The eights seal from 1467
Wappen von Bern

The oldest coin of Bern.
Arms of Bern

The arms on a 1492 coin
Arms of Bern

The arms on a 1600 coin
Arms of Bern

The arms on a 1700 coin
Arms of Bern

The arms on a 1718 coin

The colours are known since the 14th century, and the arms have never changed since. The arms are also used by the district of Bern and the Canton Bern. To distinguish the arms the canton often uses a floral crown, the city uses a mural crown.

The oldest known description of the arms of Bern dates from the Guglerlied from 1375 :
Berner waffen ist so schnell
mit drin gevarwten strichen;
der ein ist rot, der mittel gel,
darin stat unverblichen
ein ber gar swarz gemalet wol,
rot sind ihn die clawen;
er ist swerzer denn ein kol,
bris er bejagen sol.
(freely translated as : the arms of Bern are so fast, with three painted stripes, the one is red, the middle yellow, in which stands a black bear, with red claws, blacker than a coal, until the hunting begins).

Wappen von/Blason de Bern

Wappen von/Blason de Bern

Variations of the arms in the Kaffee Hag albums 1914-1960
Wappen von/Blason de Bern

Arms of Bern

The arms in a 16th century manuscript
Seal of Bern

Seal from around 1900
Seal of Bern

The arms as used by the city during the years

Wappen von Bern

The arms in the Abadie albums
Wappen von Bern

The arms in a 1930s album
Wappen von Bern

The arms in the Wappen-Sammlung (1900)
Wappen von Bern

The arms on a collectable stamp, +/- 1920
Wappen von Bern

Municipal stationery, 1960s

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Literature : Wappenbuch des Kantons Bern, 1981. Main image by Massimo Ghirardi; Dreyer, 2001