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Kernave (Vilnius, Lithuania)

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: kernave | vilnius | sirvintos |
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image by Virginijus Misiunas, 29 December 2009

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Kernave (Sirvintos District) - on a red field in silver the opening of a crumbling mural gate guarded by an armed silver warrior with blue tunic, holding a silver saber and golden shield, from the warrior's right shoulder to left hip bent a red band, on his helmet three ostrich feathers: blue, golden, blue; under the charge in golden letters the motto "Verciau gyvybe prarasiu negu laisve" ("I will loose life rather than freedom"). Flag proportions 5:6, fringe is golden, finial is a golden knob.
Kernave has a long and famed history: first mentioned in 1279, it was one of the main centres of early Lithuania, even the capital of Lithuania in the late 13th century (the legendary tradition calls Kernave "the first capital", though historically this is not true, because Vilnius was the capital before). But in the late 14th century Kernave city was destroyed by the Teutonic Order, and its real revival did not happen due to the long war and growth of other (surviving) cities. So the arms were granted only in 1792. The arms are intended to express both the famed past and the reality of late 18th century: the ruined city was like the dying state, but it could be saved by granting freedom to citizens, and it is worthy of life.
Virginijus Misiunas, 29 December 2009