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Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Lietuvos Didzioji Kunigaikstyste

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: lithuania | grand duchy of lithuania |
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image by Anon., 24 July 2003

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The Flag

The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Lietuvos Didzioji Kunigaikstyste) - The flag of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, 1578 (reconstructed according to descriptions). This flag I drew according to the cutting from booklet. Smaller picture is placed in Encyclopedia of Soviet Lithuania, volume 4, General editorial office of encyclopedia of the Lithuanian SSR, Vilnius, 1988.
Anon., 24 July 2003

First Lithuanian Flag

The earliest known picture of flag of Lithuania: it was drawn by Diebold Lauber of Hagenau and shows the arrival of Lithuanian prince Zygimantas Kaributas to Prague in 1422. The manuscript is stored in the National Library of Austria, No.13975, vol.1, p.138.
The whole picture is small (it is just the illustration to manuscript), so not so many details of flag can be researched. But several facts can be extracted:
- the flag shows on red field the white/silver dexter-faced mounted knight, i.e. the main elements of Vytis arms were already stabile;
- the knight holds lance, i.e. the late 14th century variations of sword vs. lance were probably still continuing (other explanations are also possible);
- the flag contains upper tail, similarly to the German fashion of 15th century; that supports the theory about major influence of German traditions to the early arms and flags of Lithuanians, despite of the century-long total war between them.
Virginijus Misiunas, 3 January 2010