The Bulgarian Civic Heraldry and the Constructions of Heritage Cover Image
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Градските гербове в България и конструирането на наследство
The Bulgarian Civic Heraldry and the Constructions of Heritage

Author(s): Stoyan Antonov
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Институт по философия и социология при БАН

Summary/Abstract: Although heraldry is a phenomenon of mediaeval culture of Western Europe, it still holds its positions in the Contemporary World. If for the Modern European society it is a part of tradition, for the Bulgarian one, which historically missed its medieval apogee, it is rather an anachronism. On the other side, the Modern Time transforms the old symbols and establishes new ones in accordance to the national idea. In this sense, the clear awareness of Bulgarian national symbols contradicts the lack of necessity and idea of local ones. While the national symbol is a product of The Revival, the so-called coat-of-arms of Bulgarian cities have been made recently – from the very end of 19th century until now. This is one of the reasons for the symbols to be analysed not only by heraldry and history methods, but also using social- and cultural-anthropological ones. Several points reason the coverage of the problems in question on the topic about contemporary civic cultural patrimony. At first, the Bulgarian term coat-of-arms (gerb) is derived from the Old German word for heritage. In the historical aspect, the civic coat-of-arms is the symbolic expression of the formation of an autonomous political structure, but while building up such a symbol, strategies are put in motion to mark the specific civic identity. But coat-of-arms is also an example of instituting of patrimony. In Bulgarian case, it is rather artificially forced to be the city coat-of-arms, than a result of natural development. The paper has general character and deals with the mechanisms of construction of this very kind of heritage, outlined on the basis of 250 examples of civic coat-of-arms in Bulgaria.

  • Issue Year: 35/2003
  • Issue No: 3-4
  • Page Range: 192-205
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Bulgarian