The coat of arms, flag and hymn are the three main symbols of the state.
The Russian coat of arms - a two-headed eagle - is easily recognized and known so widely that people often do not even think why the bird has two heads instead of one.
History of the Russian Emblem
The eagle did not immediately become a symbol of Russia. First on the arms of the country was depicted a formidable lion torturing a snake, and later a rider appeared in his place, symbolizing the sovereign. The double-headed eagle turned into a symbol of Russia in the 15th century. This was due to the marriage of Ivan III to Sophia, the princess of Byzantium. The Russian ruler wanted to emphasize the connection with his wife's family, and at the same time to achieve the improvement of his authority in the world and especially in Europe, so he decided to adopt the family coat-of-arms of the two-headed eagle. First the symbol began to appear on the seal of Ivan III, but later it turned into an easily recognizable symbol of the country. Nevertheless, although this image was widely distributed and associated with the tsarist authorities, it officially became a coat of arms only under Ivan the Terrible.
Of course, in the XV century the coat of arms of Russia did not look that way,like now. Many rulers supplemented it with new features or changed certain elements. Ivan the Terrible added to the image of the bird a crown with a cross to emphasize the royal power. Later, instead of one crown, they began to depict three. Moreover, on the chest of the bird appeared the image of St. George the Victorious. Also over time, the eagle began to draw on languages that meant independence, the strength of Russia, its willingness to stand up for itself and defeat any enemy.
With the onset of the Time of Troubles, the eagle "was taken away"All signs of power. Nevertheless, when the hard years were over, the coat of arms again acquired the symbols of greatness: it was supplemented by a scepter and a power. Catherine I painted the image black, and Peter I supplemented him with the imperial crown and the Order of St. Andrew. Later, the rulers made other changes, but the basis for the modern Russian arms was taken exactly the version of the two-headed eagle that was adopted under Peter I.
Symbols of the two-headed eagle
There are several explanations for the strange appearance of the eagle chosen for the coat of arms of Russia. It is worth mentioning the two most significant: religious and political.
The double-headed eagle symbolized the god Sharur inAncient Sumer. In India, this bird was named Gandaburunda and also had a divine origin. In both cases, the divine creatures had tremendous power and symbolized the supreme power. This is a very ancient image - one of many doubled symbols, like the two-faced Janus.
As for the political version, it is simple: For a long time the eagle meant the heart of Russia, and its heads, looking east and west at the same time, symbolized the expanses of the country and its special geographical position.