Last modified: 2002-08-09 by dov gutterman
Keywords: liepaja | latvia | lion | tree | lime | libau | linden |
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by Gvido Petersons, 14 December 1999
The tree looks like a lemon or lime tree to me, but, being a
city boy , I can't tell the difference. I'd bet the tree is a
cant on the name "Liepaja", but someone who knows
Latvian could help there. The word "leppa"" means
"ash (tree)" in Finnish, and although the languages
aren't related, there has been much old and recent borrowing
between Latvian, and Finnish and its related languages like
Estonian and Livonian. Interestingly, the tree trunk is green in
the CoA, meaning that the tree would be blazoned "vert"
instead of "proper".
Lewis A. Nowitz, 10 April 1999
Liepaja get their CoA in 1625. Symbol of Liepaja is lime-tree
(german name was Libau) "liepa". Lion symbolizes
Courland. Meaning of flag colors (green/red) is unknown but
probably they are derrived from CoA (green from lime-tree and red
from Courlands lion).
Gvido Petersons, 12 April 1999
The lime tree is shown to be green including the trunk. In
heraldry, the trunk is frequently shown in its natural color,
also to be blazoned "proper".
Lewis A. Nowitz , 16 April 1999
Trunk is green. In all sources (also old ones). I think
because red lion is to close to tree. And red and brown (or dark
red) together is wrong combination.
Gvido Petersons, 16 April 1999
According to my father (a native of Rujiena) and several
Latvian dictionaries, "liepa" means "linden
tree" (a.k.a. "basswood" here in America). Clearly
the leaves on the tree in Liepaja's arms are broad, heart-shaped
leaves typical of the linden. Lindens are abundant in temperate
Latvia; lime trees are tropical, and I believe the shape of their
leaves is different, not so broad. Also, one Internet tourist
guidebook refers to "the linden tree-lined streets" of
Liepaja. So the tree in Liepaja's CoA is a linden (as would be
any such leaves or trees in Latvian flags and CoA's).
Michael A. Penikis, 23 April 2000
I can vouch that the tree that is called the linden tree in
Canada and northern Europe is called the lime tree in Britain -
nothing to do with the citrus-lime tree. The name basswood is
used for the same tree in the northeastern US. I think they are
all genus Tilia.
Rob Raeside, 24 April 2000