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President of Latvia approves the new State Heraldry Commission

On 18 September 2019, the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, announced the new line-up of the State Heraldry Commission (SHC). According to the SHC Statutes, it is comprised of nine experts with background in heraldry, history, art and legal science.

Graphic artist Laimonis Šēnbergs has been reappointed the chair of the SHC. Historian, associated professor Andris Levāns is the new commission member who has joined the existing members of the commission.

The Commission’s new line-up assembled for its first meeting on 25 September to discuss the awards of various units of the National Armed Forces and state institutions and approve graphic art for family coats of arms. Commission is currently drafting the Cabinet of Ministers Regulation on heraldic colour codes and graphic elements of the National Coat of Arms and Vidzeme, Latgale, Kurzeme and Zemgale regional coats of arms.

According to Deputy Chair of the SHC for Administration, Mrs Ramona Umblija, SHC meets once a month and its members also work in thematic groups and provide individual opinions on all issues in scope of SHC’s responsibility between meetings.

Moreover, in recent years SHC has had to significantly expand the scope of its work due to:

  • the need to monitor, consult and assess a growing number of award design projects implemented by government bodies of various level from state, local, educational institutions to state-owned enterprises;
  • the growing variety of available new artistic techniques and technologies that are used in applied graphic design – thematic awards of all kinds, souvenirs/merchandise with national symbols;
  • the growing demand for designing, guidance and validation of family and institutional coats of arms;
  • the diversification in use of national symbols (coat of arms and flag) and merchandise with national symbols, as well as the colour code of national flag;
  • the need to provide legal review of the above processes and specific cases (especially legal opinion on the right to use certain national symbols), expert opinions (including cases when national symbols have been vandalised or desecrated), proposals for regulations that set out the rules on the use, manufacturing and distribution of national symbols, and extensive awareness raising and informing.

Composition of SHC:

Laimonis Šēnbergs, graphic designer, Chief Designer and Artist, Bank of Latvia, Cash Department, Cash Operations Division, Coin Division;

Kristīne Ducmane, Doctor of History, historian;
Edgars Pastars, Master of Law, constitutional law expert;
Maija Rozenfelde, Master of Arts, graphic designer, professor of the Functional Design Department of the National Art Academy;
Ilona Teplouhova, Master of History, senior expert, Ministry of Culture, Social Integration Department;
Ramona Umblija, Master of Art, art historian and Deputy Chair of the SHC for Administration;
Armands Vijups, Doctor of History, historian, associated professor of the Faculty of Archaeology and History Sub-disciplines, Department of Philosophy and History, University of Latvia;
Valdis Villerušs, Doctor of Art, artist, graphic artist, professor of the National Art Academy;
Andris Levāns, Doctor of History, associated professor of Department of Philosophy and History, University of Latvia.


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