THE EMBLEM

OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC

 

The national emblem of Greece consists of a blue escutcheon with a white cross, surrounded by two laurel branches which form a crest.

The emblem is painted or woven, mainly on the hats, uniforms and buttons of the military and the security forces.

HISTORY

The creation of a Greek national emblem was first instructed by the First National Assembly of Epidaurus in 1 January 1822, and was established by decree on 15 March of the same year. Since then, the emblem’s shape and design has undergone many changes, mostly due to the respective changes in Greece’s regime.

The original Greek national emblem was circular, and depicted goddess Athena and the owl. At the time of Capodistrias, the first Governor of modern Greece, the phoenix was added to the composition, as a symbol of rebirth. During the reign of King Otto, the royal crest, which consisted of two crowned lions holding the coat of arms with the royal crown, replaced the previous national emblem. With the arrival of King George I, the Bavarian emblem was replaced by the Danish one. After Greece became a Republic in 1924, the national emblem consisted of a simple white cross on a blue background. The Danish emblem returned with the restoration of Monarchy until 1967, before changing again to its contemporary shape and form with the founding of the Third Hellenic Republic in 1974.