The Coat of Arms of David-Horodok
The heraldry of Belarusian towns can be traced back to the 15th - 18th century. Coats of arms were usually granted together with the Magdeburg code of law. The coat of arms was then displayed at the town hall or town council building and it was used for the official town seal.
Coats of arms had various subjects: defense, agriculture, religion, mythology. They reflected particular historic facts and events or were an indication of ownership. Thus a city's coat of arms was not only, as it were, its visiting card, but also the embodiment of its historical heritage.
In the course of three centuries the towns and cities of the Grand Duchy of Litva (Lithuania) (the medieval Belarusian-Lithuanian state) developed their own heraldic traditions.
After the division of the Rec Paspalita (Rzecz Pospolita, Polish-Belarusian state), when the Belarusian teritories were annexed by the Russian Empire, the destruction of these heraldic traditions and the replacement of old coats of arms by new ones began. Only a few towns and cities were able to retain their old coats of arms, with the addition of new heraldic attributes (in the coats of arms of Mahiliou and Viciebsk, for example, a double-headed eagle was introduced - the crest of the Russian Empire).
Soviet times there were attempts to introduce new, primitive coats of arms which did not correspond to the rules of heraldry.
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