Zlota Wolnosc herb
The following was prepared from an entry on pages 175-176 of Volume 10 of the classic heraldic reference Herbarz Polski (by Kasper Niesiecki, S. J., Lipsk [Leipzig] edition, 1839-1846) by Leonard J. Suligowski, 218A North Henry, Brooklyn, NY 112223608. The blazon or verbal description of the arms below is first given in the authentic heraldic style, followed by a translation from the Polish description by Niesiecki. The right and left sides of a shield are identified from the standpoint of the bearer, i. e., the one holding the shield. His right would be your left and vice versa. The tinctures (colors) in heraldry are as follows: azure = blue; gules = red, sable = black; or = gold, argent = silver; vert = green. In heraldry all charges (pictures) on a shield are already assumed to be facing dexter (right .side) unless otherwise .specified. In Polish heraldry all animals or birds are assumed to be in their natural coloring unless otherwise specified.
Arms: Azure, two serpents embowed into a figure "8", between the heads, a cross patee, couped in base.
In volume 3, page 346, Okolski's armorial gives this clan shield as showing two serpents so arranged that together they form the figure 8, and between them there is a cross.* He surmises that this coat of arms was given to a shrewd man who succeeded in making peace between two princes who had long been involved in a dispute with each other, and thus created harmony between them.
This same Okolski says that he saw such a clan shield on the gate of the castle of Brzeżany, and concludes-surely correctly-that one of the Sieniawskis who had connected himself with this family used this coat of arms, among others. He saw it in another place, as well, in the sacristy of the church at Radlów, and it was his idea to call it Zlota Wolność ["Golden Freedom"]
Rev. Petrasancta in De tess. gentil., chapter five, included among other foreign coats of arms a staff around which two serpents were coiled three times, and adds that some houses in Silesia used this emblem on a sapphire shield in their seals.
*Translator's note: Since this clan shield was not fully blazoned (described), the Polska Encyklopedia Szlachecka was checked (Vol. 111, page 520), and it gives the following citation: "In a blue field, two black serpents coiled to form the figure eight, and between them a cross of gold On a crowned helmet can be found a crest of three ostrich plumes. This clan is said to have come from Silesia. "
Copyright © 2003 Leonard J. Suligowski. Used by permission. This article originally appeared in White Eagle (Fall-Winter 2003), the journal of the Polish Nobility Association Foundation.