Last modified: 2012-03-31 by german editorial team
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Freising county had no flag before the 1972 municipal reform.
Stefan Schwoon, 9 July 2001
Adopted 14 Aug 1979, according to Dirk Schönberger's Administrative
Divisions of the World website.
From Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website:
"The arms were granted on August 21, 1955 and confirmed on July 15, 1976.
- The upper part of the arms show part of the arms of Bavaria (Bayern), and stand for the former areas of Kranzberg and Moosburg in the district.
- The moor's head is a false representation of St. Corbinianus, the patron saint of the diocese of Freising. St. Corbinianus was bishop of Munich in the 7th century. The picture is derived from pre-heraldic coins and it is unlikely that the bishop was a Moor. The State of Freising (it was a free state ruled by the bishops) became part of Bavaria in 1803. The moor's head is also used by some other municipalities, not only in Germany (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Mittenwald and Ismaning), but also in Italy (Innichen/San Candido). The city of Freising does not use the head, but a boar [incorrect, read below], which plays a role in the legend of St. Corbinianus.
- The rose is taken from the arms of the Counts of Moosburg, who used three roses.
Literature: Stadler 1964-1971."
Santiago Dotor, 15 Nov 2001
It is worth noting that the animal on the arms of the city of Freising
is not a boar as stated on the International
Civic Arms website, but rather a bear. Its connection to St. Corbinian,
as I learned it while a child living in Freising in the 1960s, is that
while the saint was on his way to set up his mission to the Bavarians,
a wild bear killed the donkey carrying Corbinian's belongings. So he compelled
the bear to carry the load instead, suitably impressing the people of Freising
upon his arrival there. The arms therefore show a bear carrying a pack
on its back, with the Bavarian lozenges in chief.
Joseph McMillan, 27 Jan 2004
Actually rather odd, since Corbinian was not in fact a Moor. I do not
remember the explanation of how he came to be depicted as one.
Joseph McMillan, 21 Sep 2001
There seem to be many legends and theories how the Blackmoor got to
represent Freising, and I believe that many are mentioned on the website
pointed out by Stefan Schwoon, which deals with an exhibition made
in Skofja Loka (Slovenia)
that was one of the cities ruled by Freising bishops, as some other cities
in that position inherited the Blackmoor in their coats-of-arms. I am far
from remembering it clearly, but I think that it is not Corbinianus represented
but one of his servants.
Željko Heimer, 21 Sep 2001
Actually we do not know, we can only speculate; and there are many speculations on that topic, for sure! The first seal depicting a crowned head dates from 1286: it shows the whole person of the bishop of Freising, Emicho, and in a small escutcheon at the bottom of the seal, a crowned head. This is the first pictorial evidence of the bishopric coat-of-arms; however, there is no indication, that this crowned head shows a moor. Also later seals include a crowned head, but not a moor.
The first image definitely showing a moor is an illumination from 1316 in the so-called Prädialbuch. So sometime between 1286 and 1316 the crowned head became a crowned moor's head. Since then the crowned moor's head is considered the arms of the bishop of Freising and of his territory, the Hochstift. The Hochstift contained widespread territories in Bavaria (e.g. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Wörth), but also in Slovenia (Skofja Loka) and South Tyrol (Innichen). Many of the cities and municipalities formerly belonging to the Hochstift contain the moor's head in their coat-of-arms. See for instance my pages about the Wörth arms and its historical sources.
The attempts for an interpretation include:
- One of the three Magi (one of them is shown as a moor);
- St. Mauritius (his name is derived from Latin maurus, moor);
- St. Zeno (frequently shown as a moor);
- St. Sigismund (mixed up with St. Mauritius);
- St. Corbinian, the first bishop of Freising, pictures of whom (e.g. on coins) might have become darker over the time and so ended up resembling a moor;
- several other explanations.
The more important thing in the early times of this coat-of-arms seems to be the crown, and not what the head signified. The crown should probably show, that the territory of the bishop of Freising was autonomous, only subject to the Emperor, and not to the Bavarian duke.
Another explanation for the moor might be that bishop Emicho had thick lips and therefore perhaps was nicknamed moor. Some other possible explanations are proposed by Ziegler. In the end, we do not know, though.
Sources: Adolf Wilhelm Ziegler, Der Freisinger Mohr: Eine
heimatgeschichtliche Untersuchung zum Freisinger Bischofswappen, Franz
X. Seitz & Val. Höfling, Munich 1976; M.F. Schlamp, Der Mohrenkopf
im Wapen der Bischöfe von Freising, Frigisinga 7, No. 9-19 (several
Marcus Schmöger, 7 Oct 2001
The other municipalities (Allershausen, Eching, Fahrenzhausen, Hallbergmoos,
Hohenkammer, Hörgertshausen, Langenbach, Marzling, Mauern, Neufahrn,
Wang) did not show their flag.
Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 23 Jun 2003