The Coat of Arms of the city of Kazan

Source: Haris, R. Symbols of Tatarstan. Kazan: Magarif Publishing House, 2005, p. 64.

The territory of the Kazan Khanate, after being annexed to Russia, was deprived the status of a self-governing political unit and was governed by the Prikaz of the Kazan Palace, one of the central state bodies of power in Russia.

There is no information about the official Coat of Arms in the era of the Prikaz of the Kazan Palace (the mid-1500s to 1708). There is no further information about the Coat of Arms of the Kazan Khanate and its capital Kazan, beyond the above description by Karlus Alyard about the dragon and owl in the flag of the khans of Kazan. It is likely that the creation of a coat of arms was not traditional for the medieval Tatar states, since there is no data on coats of arms for the Astrakhan, Kasimov, Crimean, and Siberian Khanates as well.

The Coat of Arms of the city of Kazan, authorised on October 18, 1781, is a black snake under the gold crown of Kazan with red wings on a white background. In the 19th century, it underwent a number of changes which included replacing the black snake by a crowned dragon (who was named Zilant after a legend about Snake Mountain). Earlier images of a winged snake are found in Russian seals from the 16th century and drawings from the Bulgar period. However, there is no historical evidence that any of them were authorised as a coat of arms. Thus, there was no official symbol of the city or state until now.

The Coat of Arms of the Kazan province was authorised on December 8, 1856: “On a silver shield there is a black crowned dragon, his wings and tail are dark red, the beak and claws are gold; the tongue is dark red. The shield is topped with the imperial crown and surrounded by gold oak leaves connected by St. Andrew's ribbon.”*

* Description by P.P. Von Vinkler in his book, The Anthems, published in St. Petersburg in 1899.

The Coat of Arms of the city of Kazan is included in the State Heraldic Register of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Russian Federation: “On a white background, on green earth, there is a black dragon with red wings and red tongue, with gold paws and claws, topped with a gold crown.” The earth symbolises the guardian of life and riches, the green colour symbolises the beginning of spring and revival; gold symbolises riches; white symbolises purity; red symbolises maturity, energy, force, and life; and black symbolises prudence, wisdom, and honest.

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