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Poland: Catholics Propose Adding Cross to National Emblem

The recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Soile Lautsi, who was offended by crucifixes displayed in her child's school in Italy, states:

The compulsory display of a symbol of a given confession in premises used by the public authorities… restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions.

The Polish parliament, however, has decided [POL] to continue allowing handing out crosses in Polish classrooms and on other public premises. And a Polish association of Catholics, Unum Principium, has also proposed including the symbol of the cross in the national emblem of Poland. Currently, the emblem has a white eagle in a golden crown on red background, but Krzysztof Zagozda, the association's spokesman, refers to the national emblem from 1927, when the eagle's crown had a cross incorporated on top of it. He explains the group's proposal [POL]:

Including cross in national symbols is important for patriotic reasons. For many Polish citizens it expresses separateness of a kind or fight for independence. Hence why we need to restore it.


Image source: Wikipedia

This proposal has generated over 500 reactions on the forum of Poland's main daily,

Maruda.r questions the above statement [POL]:

It's not entirely right, as Polish eagles were wearing different crowns: […] Emblems, coats of arms change – they reflect certain status, which is not there any more. We might as well reach out for the chicken placed on coins in Piast times.

Feurig59 states [POL]:

Carry the crosses in your hearts. Not everything has to be shown off – worn off symbols, whose meaning is carried by very few in this country, but everyone is scrubbing and polishing their ‘gods’, so everyone could see how strongly they feel about ‘tradition’ and what a good Pole and Catholic they are. Makes me sick:(

Michelange75 points out [POL]:

As a Catholic I say – No. Those people do not understand that this leads to antagonisms within Polish society and a loss of trust in the church for many Poles. Are we to experience the mistake of Western countries, where churches stand empty. That is what those chauvinists and pseudo-Catholics want. If so, than in this entire war over the cross and entire aspect of moving crosses away from school ordered by Europe, and which we do not seem to have to respect, Polish Catholic church will lose. It's totally irresponsible.

This statement is followed up by a response from ludwigvanbeethoven, who is a Protestant [POL]:

Catholics believe themselves as the only right faith, but I am asking – why? As a protestant, I demand all churches in Europe to look like protestant ones. […] Religion should be an inner business of each citizen, and not a huge balloon and sour faces, that Brussels does not want to include common values into their constitution.

On another site, AdamM sounds very sarcastic [POL]:

But Poland is to be a province of Vatican, so it's easier this way. Of course during GCSA exams we will pass religion too, and on our CV's we will need to put dates of our baptism, first communion and confirmation as well as the exact amount of money given during each mass. We will let out on our streets policemen who will check if we all carry crosses and know how to pray, and for those who protest, we will build stakes. We could also do with dusting off the Middle Ages torture machines so that the conversion is smoother.

A Northern Irish Polish forum contains a discussion on how having a cross in the emblem differs from having it next to it one wall; the main thoughts are expressed by 33lncr [POL]:

Aaa, those are the guys from the Madonna concert affair [cancelled due to protest of Catholics], so the case is clear… Seriously, though, for me it's only an add-on to a picture with a bird. But when I think of it rationally, what has the cross to do with Poles – atheists or Poles-other-believers, who are also patriots, what does it have to do with Poles-Catholics who are not patriots at all (I know the last one is in our country almost an oxymoron, but logically speaking quite possible)?

There are a few supportive opinions, though, like the one expressed by Krzysiek [POL]:

I support them. Poland is a Catholic country and we should protect our faith and show it somehow. If someone is unhappy, they should go to France where Catholics have practically nothing to say, and the majority of people believes in Islam.


  • […] questions the above statement [POL]: It’s not entirely right, as Polish eagles were wearing different crowns: […] Emblems, coats of arms change – they reflect certain status, which is not there any […]

  • […] 23-11-09 Poland: Catholics Propose Adding Cross to National Emblem […]

  • Sylwia Wesolowska

    I think that people should finally try to focus on things more crucial to their growth and development, both spiritual and cultural, than symbols in national emblems. As I already wrote commenting Sylwia’s info about the issue on facebook, next thing we are going to see is the proposal of dressing the eagle up in an uniform… What a waste of energy!

  • 33lncr

    Sylwia, one thing to clarify.

    Why did you called the forum (where I published my post which you quoted here) a “Northern Irish Polish forum”? What does it mean at all?

    The forum has a title on it’s pages which says (a quote): “Zielona Irlandia – Forum dyskusyjne o Irlandii”, which rather means: “Green Ireland – Forum about the Ireland”.
    Moreover, almost all the guys I was writing with on the forum (including the thread you mentioned here) for about a year or two on was (or still are) living in Republic of Ireland not in the Northern Ireland, mostly in or close to the Dublin, including me of course. So the forum should be rather called here a forum of Polish emigration in Republic of Ireland – or I missed something. ;)


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