Coats of arms of Karelia
A traditional coat of arms of Karelia is known from 1562 and originally was valid in Karelian primordial lands between Ladoga lake and the Baltic Sea (the Karelian Isthmus). Now it is a national coat of arms of Karelia province in Finland.
There are a gold crown and two silver arms, which are ready to attack on a red shield by Varangian model. Moreover the right (west) arm is put in armour and held a straight sword and the left (east) arm is protected with a hauberk and a sabre. A main idea of this coat of arms is a centuries-old relentless struggle between Sweden and Russia to possess a territory of Karelia.
On March 29, 1920, the Provisional Government of the White Sea Karelia considered in Uhtua (a new name – Kalevala – the center of Karelian national region) the question of the state flag and coat of arms. The famous Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela, who presented the flag and coat of arms on May 25, 1920, became the author of the national symbols of Eastern Karelia. This coat of arms was in use till 1922 when Republic of Uhtua was defeated. Next time this coat of arms was emblem of the Eastern Karelia during a war 1941-1944. Today it is a symbol of the Karelian refugees in Finland.
A shield by Varangian model – upper field is red, lower field is green. There are silver northern lights above of shield. There are broken silver fetters below of shield.The enraged black and gold bear tramples fetters and holds in its paws Karelian national chopper – vesuri. A bear was a sacred animal for ancient Karelians. Broken silver fetters means waiver of Russian colonial oppressing.
The first of the coats of arms by Soviet model was valid on the 17th of June 1937 and had inscriptions on Karelian, Russian and Finnish languages (the presentation is not available). In second half of 1937 in Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic begin reprisals against finns. On the 29th of December 1937 the Finnish language was excluded from symbolics of Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
When Karelian-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic was re-organized to Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic on the 20th of August 1956 was restored with the insignificant amendments previous coat of arms Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
There is enraged black and gold bear on the tricolored (a red, a dark blue and green) shield by Varangian model. A red colour means bloodshed. A dark blue colour are lakes and rivers of Karelia. A green colour is woodlands of Karelia.