Anniversary of the Creation of
the Office of Heraldry Marked

The State Service of Heraldry participated in the development of the transference of the remains of the Empress Maria Feodorovna from the Kingdom
of Denmark to Saint Petersburg (left) in 2006, as well as the organization of the interment of the remains of the Emperor Nicholas II and his family (right) in 1998.

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On February 21st and 22nd of this year, the State Hermitage Museum hosted the opening of a ceremonial session of the Presidential Heraldic Council and a scientific conference, dedicated to the 290-year anniversary of the creation of the Office of Heraldry and the 20-year anniversary of the State Service of Heraldry of Russia. The conference was dedicated to questions of heraldic theory, the history of heraldry and contemporary heraldic practice. Presentations were offered by academics, museum works, the representatives of various departments and regions of Russia, and heraldic artists.

In 1992, the State Service of Heraldry was created in Russia (in the Russian Empire, this service existed from 1722 to 1917) and the principle of a single state policy in respect of heraldry was announced. The service was initially formalized as the State Service of Heraldry of the Russian Federation, which was part of the Federal Archive Agency; in 1993 it was reformed as the Department of Heraldry. In 1994, the service became part of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, referred to as the "Presidential State Heralds'. Office" Finally, in 1999, the last major reorganization was held, and the Heralds' Office was renamed as the Presidential Heraldic Council.

The creator and irreplaceable manager of the State Service of Heraldry is Georgy Vadimovich Vilinbakhov, who holds the title of State King of Arms and who carries out his obligations on a pro bono basis. At present, the State Service of Heraldry exists in the form of a Heraldic Council, consisting of twenty-one members (who also work on the Council on a pro bono basis) and a small support staff consisting of two staff officials of the Administration of the Russian Federation.

The State Service of Heraldry is tasked with providing professional help in the creation of heraldic symbols, and assisting in the productive application of the rules of heraldry. For this purpose, the official symbols (coats of arms, flags, emblems, award, uniforms, etc.) produced by Russian authorities (on a Federal, Regional and Municipal Level) undergo expert analysis by the Heraldic Council. Furthermore, the Council is responsible for governmental record keeping and the inclusion of symbols in the State Heraldic Register. In order to assist the creators and users of these symbols, the Council develops and distributes methodological recommendations and holds workshops and seminars intended to spread heraldic knowledge and ensure a unified approach to solving fundamental heraldic problems.

The State Service of Heraldry conducts official activities related to issues of symbolism. The Service was directly or indirectly involved in the creation of the state flag and coat of arms of Russia, our country's state honors, the emblems of federal executive agencies, and in the preparation of the text of laws, government pronouncements and other legislation related to symbolism. The State Service of Heraldry is involved in the formalization of uniform regulations for the civil and military services, as well as systems of administrative honors and identifying marks. The Service participates in the creation of regional symbols and awards and the symbols of the heads of the Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation, and provides a wide range of assistance to municipal institutions in the creation of coats of arms, flags and other symbols. As of today, the Heraldic Council has added over 7000 various heraldic symbols, created in our country from 1991 to 2012, to the State Heraldic Register.

The State Service of Heraldry participated in the development of the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony, the transference of the remains of the Empress Maria Feodorovna from the Kingdom of Denmark to Saint Petersburg, the organization of the interment of the remains of the Emperor Nicholas II and his family and attendants in Saint Petersburg, as well as many other state and regional ceremonies.

The State Service of Heraldry conducts major research and educational work, which has resulted in the creation of a series of publications and an internet portal entitled "Russian Symbolism."

Source & Copyright: State Hermitage Museum
22 March, 2012