Latvian History

The Coat of Arms

Latvia’s coat of arms combines the traditional heraldic symbols of Latvian statehood and national identity – three stars, the sun, the sea and oak leaves. Latvia’s historical districts of Kurzeme and Zemgale are represented by a red lion, while Vidzeme and Latgale are depicted by a silver griffin.

Latvian Symbols

The Flag

The crimson-white-crimson flag of Latvia is one of the oldest in the world and dates back to a battle near Cesis in the 13th century. According to one legend, it originated from a white sheet used to carry a mortally wounded Latvian tribal chief from the battlefield. Soaked with his blood on two sides, his soldiers hoisted the warrior’s sheet as a banner as it led them to victory.

National Holiday

November 18, the date of the Proclamation of Latvia’s independence in 1918.
May 4, the date of the Restoration of the Independence of the Republic of Latvia.