This site is a mirror of the original site, made in 2022 by Heraldry of the World. The original site is unaltered. This mirror functions as an archive to keep the material available on-line.
All rights remain with the late Hubert de Vries, the original site owner.




Astrachan Khanate







Wolgadeutsche A.S.S.R.


Back to Russia


Astrachan Khanate


Astrachan is one of the khanates which arose after the fragmentation of the Golden Horde Khanate during the reign of Toktamish (1375-’95). It was located between the rivers Ural and Volga  and its capital Astrachan is on the mouth of the Volga. The main part of the former Khanate is situated in Kazachstan today but the city itself, like the lower course of the river, are in the Russian Republic.

In 1556 Astrachan was captured by Ivan IV the Terrible so that Astrachan has been a sovereign state for not even two hundred years. The Stenka Razin rebellion was a popular uprising that occurred in the Volga and Don regions in the late seventeenth century. In early 1670, Stenka Razin (1630-1671), a Don Cossack, led a group of insurgents up the Volga River. Proclaiming freedom and the equality of all men, the group killed officials and landlords. Razin's band of rebels was welcomed by members of the lower classes all along the Volga and grew greatly in number. Muscovite troops subdued Razin's forces at Simbirsk on the upper Volga in October, 1670; however, Razin's base at Astrakhan held out until the

Khans of Astrachan



Qasim I

1466 - 1490


1490 - 1504

Qasim II

1504 - 1532

Aq Kubek (1st reign)

1532 - 1534


1534 - 1538

Darwish Ghali

1537 - 1538

Shayex Xaydar

1538 - 1541

Aq Kubek (2nd reign)

1541 - 1544


1544 - 1554

Darwish Ghali

1554 - 1557

spring of 1671, when Razin was captured by government troops and publicly executed in Moscow. At the territorial reorganisation of Peter the Great in 1708 Astrachan was incorporated in Kazan but in 1719 it became a government of its own, extended in west of the Volga with Kalmykia and Saratov. At the territorial reorganisation of Catharine the Great in 1784 Astrachan was divided into the governments Astrachan, Saratov, Samara and Stavropol. After the Revolution Astrachan Government was divided into Astrachan and Kalmykia.




A coat of arms of Astrachan is from the time of Russian rule. It is a sword per fess, crowned with a royal crown. At the end of the reign of Ivan the Terrible the arms with the sword are called the arms of Černigov (i.e. Печать Черниговскаia). Somewhat later the arms are on a golden plate from the time of Tsar Alexander Mihailovitsj (1645-’76) and is called Печать Казанъскаiа (seal of Kazan). At the same time the coat of arms with the dragon of Kazan is called the coat of arms of Astrachan.


Arms of Astrachan,

On the throne of  tsar Michael Romanov (1613 -’45)



Arms of Astrachan with the legend: Seal of Kazan.

On a plate of  tsar Alexis (1645-’76)



Arms of Astrachan from the Titulyarnik [1]

Above the sword a crown with three large and two small leaves, five hoops and a square cross on top.


By decree of 1666 the arms of Astrachan were blasoned »Печать Астраханская венец золотой под венцом голая сабля.« and this matches the picture of the arms on the seal of Ivan the Terrible.

At about the same time a crown was added. It appeared for the first time on the throne of Michael Romanov from about 1642, the crown still open and with three large and two small leaves. On a golden plate of his son Alexis the crown is closed with a spheric cap. In the so-called Titularnike, printed in 1672 the crown with the cap is closed with five hoops, topped by a square cross. In the 19th century the leaves were omitted. [2]

In 1729 the arms were blasoned: По старому сабля бђлая подъ короною Астўакансою; черенъ (рукорятка) и корона золотые; поле лазореве. (An ancient sword below the crown of Astrachan, the hilt and the crown gold, the shield blue). [3]

Probably the arms go back to a coat of arms for „Transilvania” as in the Book of Knowledhe from the 14th century (when the khanate of Astrachan did not yet exist). It is green with a red sword. [4]


In the 18th and 19th century the arms were crowned with crowns of different styles, the oldest being a crown of five points. In the 1883 the arms were crowned with the “Crown of Astrachan” by the designer of the larger achievement of the Russian Empire, Berhard Freiherr von Köhne. This crown was ordered by tsar Michael Feodorovic in 1627. After 1776 it was called the  “Crown of Astrachan”.


Crown of Astrachan, 1627




In the 19th century the achievements of the Governements were adopted. These were all crowned with an imperial crown and surrounded by a garland of oak, tied with the ribbon of the Order of St. Andrew. [5]


Astrachan Governorate



Arms: Azure, a sword per fess, the blade Argent, the hilt Or, in chief a crown of five hoops and a green cap.

Crown: An imperial crown

Garland: Branches of oak tied with a ribbon Azure of the Order of St. Andrew.


Adopted by decree of 8 December 1856. [6]


The Astrachan Oblast of today has the same arms as the former kingdom of tsarist Russia.


The law about “The Flag and Arms of Astrachan Territory” was adopted by decree of the parliament of Astrachan Territory of 13 December 2001, № 469. The law was signed by the head of the administration of the territory A.P. Guzvin on 19 December  (Reg..№62/2001-OZ). The law reads:


Статья 11. Герб Астраханской области представляет собой четырехугольный, с закруглёнными нижними углами, заостренный в оконечности геральдический щит. В голубом поле щита - золотая корона, состоящая из обруча с тремя видимыми листовидными зубцами и золотой митры, скрепленной пятью видимыми дугами, украшенными жемчугом, с зеленой подкладкой. Митра увенчана золотым шариком с крестом. Под короной серебряный с золотой рукоятью восточный меч остриём вправо. Щит увенчан царским венцом - Астраханской шапкой".


Samara Governorate



Arms: Azure, a deer Argent.

Crown: An imperial crown

Garland: Branches of oak tied with a ribbon Azure of the Order of St. Andrew.


Granted by decree of 5 July 1878 


Saratov Governorate



Arms: Azure three sturgeons per pall Argent heads touching..

Crown: An imperial crown

Garland: Branches of oak tied with a ribbon Azure of the Order of St. Andrew.

Granted by decree 5 July 1878


Stavropol Governorate

Arms: Vert, a gate Or, on a hill Argent, in chief a five-pointed star Argent

Crown: An imperial crown

Garland: Branches of oak tied with a ribbon Azure of the Order of St. Andrew.


Granted by decree of 5 July 1878




Republic of Kalmykia


Wolgadeutsche A.S.S.R



Within Saratov Governorate was the colony of the Volga Germans who had settled there in 1764 when invited by Catharina the Great. After the revolution of 1917 they founded a republic of their own.

An Autonomous District (Oblast) was created on the territory of Saratov after the Russian Revolution, by Decree of the Soviet government of 19 October 1918 as the Volga German Workers' Commune, An autonomous socialist council’s republic (Autonomen Sozialistischen Raete-Republik der Wolgadeutschen) was proclaimed on 6 January, 1924.

The German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 marked the end of the Volga German A.S.S.R. On 28 August 1941, Joseph Stalin issued a formal Decree of Banishment, which abolished the A.S.S.R. and exiled all Volga Germans to the Kazakh S.S.R. and Siberia. The Republic was formally abolished on 7 September 1941.

A section about a coat of arms of the Wolgadeutche ASSR was a part of the proposal for a constitution in 1926. The section reads:


"Siebenter Abschnitt. Ueber das Wappen und die Flagge der ASRR der Wolgadeutschen.

     Art.81 Das Staatswappen der ASRR der Wolgadeutschen besteht aus einer Abbildung auf rotem Grund von Sichel und Hammer in den Strahlen der Sonne, die kreuzweise angebracht sind, der Handgriff nach unten mit der Aufschrift auf dem oberen Teile "RSFSR" und unten "ASRR d.W.-D." von einem Kranz aus Wehenaehren umgeben, mit Baendern umwunden und der Aufschrift auf der rechten Seite "Proletarier aller Laender, vereinigt Euch!" und auf der linken:"
всех стран, соединяйтесь!"


That is:


Part Seven. About the Arms and Flag of the Volga German Autonomous Socialist Council’s Republic


Art. 81. The arms of state of the ASCR of the Volga Germans consists of a picture on a red background of a sickle and a hammer, in the rays of the sun, crosswise, the hilt downwards with the legend in the upper part RSFSR and below  “ASRR d. W-D.” surrounded by a garland of ears of wheat, wind round with ribbons and the inscription on the right side "Proletarier aller Laender, vereinigt Euch!" and on the left :"Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!"


The arms of the autonomous republic were adopted on 5 July 1937 and consisted of the achievement of the RSFSR augmented with the name of the republic in russian and german and the motto PROLETARIER ALLER LÄNDER, VEREINIGT EUCH!.


The announcement of the arms of the Wolgadeutsche ASSR


The section of the Constitution about the arms reads:

     "Статья 110. Государственным гербом Автономной Советской Социалистической Республики Немцев Поволжья является государственный герб РСФСР, который состоит из изображения золотых серпа и молота, помещенных крест - накрест, рукоятками книзу, на красном фоне в лучах солнца и в обрамлении колосьев с надписью "РСФСР" и "Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!" на русском и немецком языках, с добавлением под надписью "РСФСР" буквами меньшего размера надписи "АССР Немцев Поволжья" на русском и немецком языках.


That is:

Section 110. The arms of state of the Volga German Autonomous Socialist Council’s Republic is the same as the arms of state of the R.S.F.S.R. which consists of a picture of a golden sickle and hammer crosswise, hilt downwards, on a red shield in the rays of the sun and  surrounded by ears of wheat and the inscription “РСФСР” and “Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!” in Russian and German completed below the inscription “РСФСР” with the legend "АССР Немцев Поволжья" in Russian and German in smaller letters.


Another coat of arms for the Wolga Germans or for a future Volga German Republic was published in 1939 in Leipzig. It was red with three ears of rye in saltire and a silver fess wavy over all. [7]


Photo H.d.V. 2017


Another coat of arms for the Rußlanddeutsche is on a stained window in the Marienkirche in Lübeck. On this window are the arms of the lost territories and the germans repatriated after WWII. The arms for the Rußlanddeutsche are here:


Arms: Azure, two sheafs of korn and a rising sun Or, and a base Sable


The arms of the Wolgadeutsche ASSR were abolished in 1941 when the Volga Germans were deported by Stalin to Kazachstan. About 300,000 of them could emigrate to Germany in 1961. 

A new autonomous Volga German Republic was aspired by some Volga Germans after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 but nothing has come of it until now. [8]



The present Volga Germans in Germany fly the flag of the Federal Republic of Germany augmented with a coat of arms showing a golden ear of rye on a black field within a golden bordure.




Back to Main Page




© Hubert de Vries 2014.11.04. Updated 2017-01-05



[1] Lvov, D. & I. Maximov: Tsar's Book of Titles (Царский Tитулярник), 1672.

[2] Сперансов, Н.Н.: Земелные Гербы России. Москва, 1974. N° 131.

[3] Винклеръ, П.П. фонъ: Гербъ Россійской Имперіи. С. Петербургъ, 1899 / Москва,1990, p. X

[4] Book of Knowledge n° 93:  “From Maxar I went to the Kingdom of Siluana which they call Septen Castra and Greeks call it Horgiml. It is encircled by two great rivers, the Turbo and Lusim. In this kingdom there is a great city called Sarax. The king has for a device a green flag with a red scimitar. The people are schismatic Christians.” One could think Transilvanbia or Siebvenburgen is meant, situated about between the Danube and the Prut. The author however is in the rest of the chapter very clearly on the territory of the Golden Horde and in this way with the Turbo and the Lusim  were probably the Volga and the Ural. Sarax should be Sarai then. Kazan, Sarai and Astrachan were Islamic but between Ancient an New Sarai there was a Christian Orthodox enclave.

[5] Винклеръ, П.П. фонъ: Гербъ Россійской Имперіи. С. Петербургъ, 1899 / Москва, 1990. Ströhl, Hugo Gerard: Russisch-Europäische Wappenrolle. Die Wappen der Gouvernements in Russland, Polen und Finnland, das Wappen des Gebietes der Donischen Kasaken und die Wappen der Hauptstädte dieser Territorien. In: Jahr­buch des K.u.K. Heraldischen und Genealogische Vereins "Adler". 1902, pp. 163-186. VI Tafeln.

[6]  Винклеръ, П.П. фонъ: Гербъ Россійской Имперіи. С. Петербургъ, 1899 / Москва,1990.

[7]  It is not clear what these arms actually symbolized. It was represented in 1939 on the cover of „Das Russlanddeutschtum in Zahlen und Karten” by Andreas Mergenthaler (Leipzig, 1939).

[8]  In Alma Ata a newspaper was or is issued, the Deutsche Allgemeine.

Flag Counter In cooperation with Heraldry of the World