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Alytus County (Lithuania)

Alytus Apskritis

Last modified: 2014-04-12 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: lithuania | alytus |
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image by Virginijus Misiunas, 16 October 2009



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Overview

The flag and the coat of arms of Alytus county - Alytaus apskritis. Coat of Arms at <www.alytus.aps.lt>. All county flags and Coat of Arms adopted on 2004 by Heraldic Commission of Lithuanian Department of Interior.
Jens Pattke, 26 February 2005

A picture of the flag is shown here and here.
Jens Pattke, 6 June 2009

The charge must be on blue canton. The double crosses are not Lorraine (patriarchal) cross but its loca variant Jogaila cross, i.e. with equal crosspieces.
The county covers the majority of Dzukija ethnic region, including the Dzukian capital Alytus city. Therefore the arms of Dzukija is granted to the county: on blue the silver unmounted knight with halberd and Baltic shield.
Flag proportions 5:6, free edges bordered with silver rope, finial is golden lance head with silver bands.
The charge originates in mid 14th century as the arms of Trakai dukes: on red the silver unmounted knight with sword and Baltic shield. That should mean the second (sub-monarch's) position of Trakai duke in the feudal hierarchy of Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Distinguishing the arms of duke and land, in late 14th century the knight of Trakai duchy held a lance and shield with "Gediminas gate" badge. That variant is used by Trakai District now (do not confuse it with the Trakai town, which uses arms and flag with John Baptist's head).
In 17th century the variant with halberd appeared. During the administrative reform of 1562-1564 a few districts "pavietas" were established in the Trakai province (former duchy). The core Trakai district was the crucial factor for the formation of Dzukija ethnic region: they are virtually the same area. Therefore the late variant of Trakai province arms was appointed to Dzukija. Blue is the traditional colour for the flags and battle banners of Trakai province. So it was chosen for background of arms and flag. The blue border with 10 Jogaila crosses is a common element for all counties of Lithuania: the border means dependence, the Jogaila cross means Lithuania, and 10 means the number of counties. Colours golden on blue are traditional for Jogaila cross in Lithuanian heraldry.
Virginijus Misiunas, 16 and 18 October 2009