Tryzub (The Trident)

The coat of arms of Ukraine is a blue shield with a gold trident. Officially referred to as the Emblem of the Royal State of Volodymyr the Great, or, colloquially, the tryzub (Ukrainian: Тризуб), the insignia derives from the seal-trident of Volodymyr, the first Grand Prince of Kyiv.

 

The small coat of arms was officially adopted on 19 February 1992, while constitutional provisions exist for establishing the great coat of arms, which is not yet officially adopted. The small coat of arms was designed by Andriy Grechylo, Oleksii Kokhan, and Ivan Turetskyi. It appears on the Presidential Standard of Ukraine. 

The trident was not thought of as a national symbol until 1917, when one of the most prominent Ukrainian historians, Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, proposed to adopt it as a national symbol (alongside other variants, including an arbalest, a bow or a cossack carrying a musket, i.e. images that carried considerable historical and cultural and heraldic significance for Ukraine). On 25 February 1918, the Central Rada(parliament) adopted it as the coat of arms of the short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic.

Tryzub

The modern "trident" symbol was adopted as the coat of arms of the Ukrainian People's Republic in February 1918. The design has precedents in seals of the Kyivan Rus. The first known archaeological and historical evidence of this symbol can be found on the sealsof the Rurik dynasty. However, according to Pritsak, the stylized trident tamga, or seal which was used by Rus rulers such as Sviatoslav I of Kiev and similar tamgas that were found in ruins are Khazar in origin.  It was stamped on the gold and silver coins issued by Prince Volodymyr the Great (980–1015), who might have inherited the symbol from his ancestors (such as Svyatoslav I Igorevich) as a dynastic coat of arms, and he passed it on to his sons, Svyatopolk I (1015–19) and Yaroslav the Wise (1019–54). The symbol was also found on the bricks of the Church of the Tithes in Kyiv, the tiles of the Dormition Cathedral in Volodymyr, and the stones of other churches, castles, and palaces. There are many examples of it used on ceramics, weapons, rings, medallions, seals,

 

Most historians agree that the medieval symbol was not intended as depicting a trident, but rather, was a symbol of the Holy Trinity.