Coats of arms factsSymbols quiz
The double-headed eagle serves as the Russian coat-of-arms. Where did it originate?
It was taken over from the Byzantine Empire. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Moscow claimed succession to the legacy of the Eastern Roman Empire. Ivan III married Sophia Palaiologina, the niece of the last Byzantine emperor Constantine XI, and made the Byzantine double-headed eagle his own, and eventually Russian, coat-of-arms. In Byzantine heraldry, the heads represent the Emperor having authority over both secular and religious matters.
Australian coat of arms has images of kangaroo and emu. What connects these two animals?
They can not walk backwards. The kangaroo and emu are the native animals that hold the shield with pride. They were chosen to symbolise a nation moving forward, based on the fact that neither animal can move backwards easily – i.e. symbolising progress. Another curiosity is that both these animals, which are national symbols of Australia, are eaten in this country.
Which musical instrument is the national symbol of Ireland?
Harp. The harp, traditionally associated with King David, was rare in medieval heraldry and its origins as the coat of arms of Ireland are unclear. Triangular devices appeared on the medieval Irish coinage by kings John and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. These devices may have been crude harps or it may be that the harp developed from the use of triangles to distinguish Irish coins.
What animals are depicted on the Australian coat of arms?
Emu and kangaroo. The Australian coat of arms is a shield, depicting symbols of Australia's six states, held up by the native Australian animals the kangaroo and the emu. The seven-pointed Commonwealth Star surmounting the crest also represents the states and territories, while floral emblems appear below the shield.