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Coat of arms (crest) of Cheb
Formerly also Eger

Country : Czechia

Province : Karlovarský Kraj

District (Okres) :

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The arms were registered on ?

Cheb was first mentioned in 1061/1062 and as a town in 1203. It is not sure if the town had a seal at the time. The oldest known seal dates from a charter from August 21, 1242. The seal was used until at least the end of the 14th century, even though the city had become an German Imperial City in 1275 and, in 1322, became a possession of the Bohemian Kings. For the image see below, there is already a small part with a grid visible. A second seal from 1471 shows the Bohemian (?) King or German Emperor with a small shield with the Imperial Eagle. Behind the shield there is a grid visible.

When the actual city arms were first used is not known. One of the oldest images is on an antipendium from around 1300, but not in colour. The arms also appear on coins of the city from 1349. The oldest coloured image dates from the 15th century and only in 1664 the arms appear on the city seals. The arms appear afterwards on a number of seals of the city and the composition did not change until 1961. The shape of the grid has changed considerably, see below, and in some images the eagle appeared crowned.

The eagle obviously is the German Imperial Eagle, but the meaning of the grid is not known. It may indicate a wall or fortification, or it was initially just some decoration with evolved into a grid.

The old arms of Cheb were changed in 1962. The historical eagle was changed to the Bohemian lion and a star (more in line with the Socialist Republic at the time and without the crown) and nine linden leaves were added to the base. One for each century of the existence of the city of Cheb. This prompted the famous Czech heraldist Jiří Louda to wonder if every century a new leaf had to be added to the arms... He also refused to show the new arms in his own publications from the 1970s. The meaning of the 9 leaves also seemed not to have been widely known, as in local newspapers and postcards arms with different number of leaves appeared (see below).

In the late 1980s the old arms were restored.

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Literature: Zelenka & Javore, 1985; Liška, 2013

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