History of the city coat of arms

Of „wild men“ and fortified walls

Wappen der Stadt Hof

Heraldic description of the coat of arms since 10th June 1960:

Two silver crenellated towers with pointed roofs on red; at their base a slanting black shield depicting a golden lion with red crown and arms. The fortified towers symbolize the fortified town. The lion shield is the coat of arms of the Vogts of Weida, the bailiffs of the town until 1373.

Thus this coat of arms, in use since 1960, bears great resemblance to the earliest known coat of arms, which also consists of two towers and a slanting shield with a lion. However the inscription on the coat of arms from the late 13th century is not “Stadt Hof” but in Latin: “CIVITATIS D(E) CURIA”. The two letters A and N next to the towns are taken to mean “Antiqua” (old) and “Nova civitas” (new town).

In the course of time this coat of arms underwent changes. To the great seal of the town of 1561 were added two naked “wild men” with ornamental decoration. The coloured illustration from the year 1581 shows an upright shield above which there is an angel dressed in red and blue bulbous roofs on the towers. Towards the end of the 16th century it was the fashion to depict such angels holding shields, especially on civic coats of arms. The two “wild men” are variously seen to be holding clubs, uprooted trees or trees still rooted in the ground in their hands. The colour of the angel was not always the same.

Some illustrations and old seals show a different shape used up to 1840: a shield topped with a mural crown showing two towers connected by a triangular gable and in between the angel holding the shield with a lion on it. On 9th May 1840 King Ludwig permitted the town of Hof to assume the older coat of arms again.

One can well imagine how unsuitable this large coat of arms was for seals, which is why changes were suggested in 1929, 1932 and 1950. When the yellow and black town flag was introduced in 1954, it was decided to correct the coat of arms, going back to the oldest patterns. The wild men and angel, being much later additions, were omitted and the towers were depicted in a manner characteristic of the former local building style with large blocks of stone and also stone roofs. This coat of arms was imbedded in a blazon in true heraldic style.


Bürgerzentrum der Stadt Hof                
Karolinenstr. 40          
95028 Hof 

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