Last modified: 2011-05-06 by andrew weeks
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Kazimierz Pułaski (full name: Kazimierz Michał Wacław Wiktor Pułaski)
of Clan Ślepowron, often written Casimir Pulaski in English (March 6, 1745
- October 11, 1779), was a Polish soldier, member of the Polish nobility
and politician who has been called "the father of American cavalry. A member
of the Polish landed nobility, he was a military commander for the Bar
Confederation and fought against Russian domination of the Polish-Lithuanian
Commonwealth. When this uprising failed, he emigrated to North America
as a soldier of fortune. During the American Revolutionary War, he saved
the life of George Washington and became a general in the Continental Army.
He died of wounds suffered in the Battle of Savannah"
There is a picture of him called "Kazimierz Pułaski at Częstochowa",
by Józef Chełmoński, 1875. Oil on canvas, at the National Museum, Warsaw,
Poland. It is believed that the flag shown there is the flag of the Bar
Confederation (in Polish: Konfederacja barska) 1768-1772 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_Confederation
) which was\ an association of Polish nobles (szlachta) formed at
the fortress of Bar in Podolia in 1768 to defend
the internal and external independence of the
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth against aggression by the Russian Empire and against King Stanisław August Poniatowski and Polish reformers who were attempting to limit the power of the Commonwealth's magnates (wealthy szlachta).
The flag (actually a Standard) in the picture is the Black Virgin or
Black Mary, seen here.
It shows the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, which is a holy icon of the
Virgin Mary, that is both Poland's holiest relic and one of the country's
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Madonna_of_Cz%C4%99stochowa .
Esteban Rivera, 10 Jan 2010
You may also have a look at < http://www.loeser.us/flags/poland.html#17
Pete Loeser, 11 Jan 2010
On 3 August 1601, Prince Michael the Brave of Wallachia,
allied with the imperial general Giorgio Basta, defeated at Guraslau (in
Transylvania) the army of prince
Sigismund Báthory, who had, among others, help units from the Polish king Sigismund III. The very next day, prince Michael sent the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II, at Prague, 88 flags, while general Basta send him only 22. All these 110 flags were painted and described by the Austrian artillerist Georg Puchner on 21 August 1601. The water colour painting is found today in the Library of Dresden, Germany, volume G. 81 (ro_1601.jpg).
The flag depicted here was captured during the battle by general Giorgio Basta. It also appears
in one of Hans
von Aachen's allegoric paintings, representing the victory of the allied
Imperial and Wallachian armies against Moise Szekely (Brasov,
The flags had nothing to do with the battle as they are clearly copied from Georg Puchner's work; plus, Moise Szekely had no Polish support.
Alex Danes, 11 Jan 2010
Well, the banner is indeed similar to this
one. So it's possible that the vertical layout was influenced by the
colors of Bari. However, the white/red colours of Poland are much older,
probably since 1295, see eg. this
Mariusz Borkowski, 18 Nov 2002
The legend is that Lech, Czech and Rus were three brothers, each of whom set off in a different direction. Czech founded the Czech nation, Rus the Ruś (i.e. East Slavs) and Lech the Poles. He camped in a spot where he saw a white eagle nesting at dusk in a nest in a tree against the red sunset. Thus, the Polish white eagle on a red field, and thus also the name of the first Polish capital, Gniezno (perhaps an old form of gniazdo, the current word for nest).
Of course, this is but a legend. I have a Polish book on the Polish
symbols at home, and it says that in the 13th century, Polish knights were
going into battle with a black eagle on a white or yellow field. In fact,
prior to the 1 or 2 Czech kings Poland had, there is no evidence of the
white eagle. So, in some likelihood, it may well be an adopted symbol.
Robert Czernkowski, 19 May 1998