The first emblem of Baku was the image of a bull head carved in the middle of the solar image symbolizing the flames on both sides. The bull’s image was originally engraved on the sloping gate of the fortress wall. Outer fortress walls were destroyed in 1886 and its gate was rebuilt on the wall of the inner fortress - the Shah Abbas gate. The image of the bull head, an ancient symbol of Baku, is embossed on each of the double gates of the fortress of Icherisheher. The lions standing on the right and on the left from the bull, might have symbolized Safavids that took the city at the time when there were still Zoroastrians living in it.
According to ancient myths, the bull has always been regarded as Moon altar. Its horns are crooked as a sign of the moon origin. Its horns has been described as cresent, as a lunar symbol. In the East lions from the ancient times symbolized the Sun, flame, clarity and power. In mythology, the lion is considered a symbol of fire-worshippers.
The seal belonging to Sultan Mohammed Gazi Shirvanshah is secured in the fund of the National Museum of the Azerbaijan History.
Baku was conquered by the Russian Empire on October 3, 1806 and became a province of Russia. The flag and keys of the Baku khanate were taken as trophies by the military units of the army during the occupation of the South Caucasus by the Tsarist Russia. Currently, the flag and silver keys of the Baku khanate are protected in the Fund of Weapons and Banners of the National Museum of the Azerbaijan History. That flag and key secured at the Caucasian Military History Museum in Tbilisi during the Tsarist Russia. In 1924, that flag and key together with attributes belonging to Azerbaijani khanates were transfered to the National Museum of the Azerbaijan History.
The rectangular flag (220 cm long, 122 cm wide) of the Baku khanate was sewn manually from four pieces of light crimson and one piece of light moiré fabric. A piece of green fabric (31 cm wide) placed lengthwise, was fastened via the red satin border (6 cm wide).
Baku uyezd, which established on a law on “The Principles of Ruling of the Transcaucasian Region”, approved on April 10, 1840, was part of Kaspi Province. Then, Baku uyezd was included in Shamakhi Governorate established in 1846. In 1859, after a devastating earthquake in Shamakhi, the centre of the province was transferred to Baku, and the province was renamed as Baku. By the same decree Baku was raised to the power of principal city of the province. In 1860, Guba uyezd was joined to the Baku Governorate. Through the formation of Elisabethpol Governorate uyezds of Nukha and Shusha departed Baku Governorate for the last. Later the number of uyezds increased and they became 6: Baku, Guba, Shamakhi, Goychay, Javad and Lankaran. The governorate was abolished in 1920.
Baku Governorate’s coat of arms was approved on July 5, 1878.
Description of the coat of arms: Three tongues of flame on the black shield. The shield is crowned with the imperial crown and surrounded by gold oak tree leaves joined with St. Andrew’s ribbon.
The first coat of arms of Baku was accepted on May 21, 1843.
Description of the coat of arms: The upper half contained part of the regional coat of arms on a gold background: on the left a “standing tiger”, on the right “jets of burning gas, bursting from the ground”. The lower part had a blue background: on the left an “endorse (centre line) and camel bearing saffron stems with flowers to symbolize the important businesses of transport and saffron cultivation”; on the right was a “cast anchor, signifying Baku’s role as a port”
The second coat of arms of Baku was approved on March 16, 1883.
Description of the coat of arms: A black shield with three golden flames, topped by a golden crown with a turret of three castellations and flanked by two golden spikes, connected by Alexander’s ribbon.
The building of Baku City Executive Power (Baku City Duma) is at the center of Istiglaliyyat street. The construction of the building was started in 1900 and was concluded in 1904. The center of the facade protected untill nowadays is decorated with the coat of arms, which, three golden torchs on the blue waves symbolizing Azerbaijan as a land of fire are depicted in the middle of the coat of arms.
During the Soviet era all the symbols were changed in the Azerbaijani heraldic coat of arms.
On April 14, 1967, Baku’s next coat of arms was approved. This coat of arms was prepared on the basis of Baku Governorate emblem approved in 1878. Some additions were made to this coat of arms in 1975: three golden flames on the emblem were stylized, five sea waves were added to the lower part of the emblem.
The Regulation of today’s coat of arms of Baku was approved by the Decree of the Head of the Executive Power of Baku on March 29, 2001. Emblem of Baku City consists of right-angled shield-shaped board bottom of which is in form of sharp angle. Each part of the shield is bordered with 6-mm golden stripe. Main measures of emblem: width – 100 mm, height – 140 mm. On the buildings and monuments the emblem is framed in bottom of the board in form of bas-relief with 3 tongues of flames in centre.
The emblem of Baku is its official symbol.
Note: More information is avialable at http://symbols.preslib.az/