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Kowary town (Poland)

Jelenia Góra county, Dolnośląskie voivodship

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by andrew weeks
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[Kowary town flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 26 Mar 2008
adopted 25 Nov 2004 See also:

Kowary town flag

Here is the flag of Kowary commune, in Jelenia Góra county, Dolnośląskie vojvodship, as presented at the communal pages, adopted 25 November 2004. Old German name: Schmiedeberg.

Flagdescription: two horizontal stripes white - green, in center of white the communal arms. Flagproportions: 3:5.
Coat of Arms: vert a rearing horse argent; in chief sinister a hammer noir.

The origin and the development of Kowary is connected to mining of iron and smithery. In 1148, on the slope of the Rudnik Mountain, miner from Walonnia called Laurentius Angelus discovered an iron ore and 10 years later at command of the contemporary duke of Poland Bolesław Kędzierzawy an exploitation of iron ores was started, a village was found, an iron began to be forged and many various iron tools began to be produced.
In 1513 the contemporary king of Bohemy and Hungary Władysław Jagiellończyk, as the liege of świdnicko-jaworskie dukedom, issued a foundation act granting Kowary civic rights. In second half of XVI ct Kowary was also a famous centre of fire-arms manufacture while the local gunsmiths acquired a reputation of very skilled worksmen. One of their clients was the king of Poland Zygmunt August who ordered 2000 barrels for muskets. In the beginning of XVIIct Kowary were still prospering but later Thirty Years War (1618-1648) destroyed the town and decimated its people.
During this war the mines were flooded and they weren't reopened ever later. The period of mining prosperity ended. After Thirty Years War the period of weaving development began. In 1747 as a result of Austrian-Prussian War Kowary together with whole Lower Silesia was joined to Prussia.
In XVIII and XIXct some efforts to renew mining activity were undertaken but they caused no meaningful effect. The town prospered mostly on weaving.
After the First World War for a very short period of time the exploitation of iron mines was being continued to satisfy demands of Reich war industry which was developing then. Also after Second World War the iron ore was being mined as well as, in top secret, an ore of uranium. Uranium ores were being exploited first of fall on the turn of 40s & 50s. After Second World War the town prospered mostly on activity of Industry Plants R1 which were related to uranium exploitation and also on textile industry producing flaxen linen and carpets which are still very famous.
Source: Kowary website.
Jarig Bakker, 26 Mar 2008


Kowary Coat of Arms

[Kowary coat of arms] image by Jarig Bakker, 26 Mar 2008

LEGEND OF HERALDIC ARMS OF KOWARY
Once in medieval times a brigand used to maraud in neighbourhood of Kowary. He forced the residents to plough his fields and to pay him a tribute both in money and in kind. At last the local people were fed up. They thought hard about how to get rid of this oppressor. The brigand used to visit Kowary very often, to capture some workers and take the tribute from rich and hard-working peasants. Usually he used to come with his companions yet once he came alone. The rumour of it had spread at once round the town and people decided to take advantage of the situation and carry into effect the intentions they had undertaken recently. The brigand stopped before a forge to have his horse shoed. Seeing him, the smith told his aids to hide and declared he would shoe the brigand's horse but being alone he would need someone to hold it in place during horse-shoeing. When the brigand turned his back to the smith to grasp his mount's bridle the smith hit him with his hammer so strong that he fell at once dead. When the frightened horse started to escape the smith, being careful not to let the brigandś companions know about their chief's death, flung the same hammer at it and killed it too.

That is the legendary justification of the Kowarian heraldic arms. On it one can see a balking horse on a green field and a hammer hanging over its back.
Source: Kowary website.