The Russian National Emblem: Why not Replace the Double-headed Eagle with a Mammoth?

Double-headed eagle vs. mammoth
As we know, Russia is indeed the motherland of elephants - woolly elephants - and the mammoth became extinct only because of the catastrophe usually referred to as "the Deluge", which supposedly took place about 10,000 years ago and which is mentioned in legends of many peoples.


These days, Japanese and Russian researchers began cloning this animal, and it is claimed that soon it will be introduced into the entertainment site that is being created in Siberia. So the replacement of the eagle with the mammoth would symbolize the renaissance of Russia. (Please do not try to find any irony in my words: judging by what Russian ruler President Putin recently told, Russia will soon become much more open to energetic immigrants from other countries – just like America in 19th and the first half of 20th century - and this may make it the America of this new century).


More, there are testimonies that the mammoth was alive in the 1st millennium BC and didn’t become extinct even till 17th century AD. Let us give the floor to Sima Jiang, a famous Chinese historian, and to Sigismund von Herberstein, a no less famous Austrian diplomat and traveler.


Sima Jiang, a Chinese historian who lived in the 145-86 B.C., writes in one of his works about Siberia (a region in Russia): "Of animals, there are giant boars, northern elephants covered with bristle, and northern rhinos".


How do you think, what can the words "northern elephants covered with bristle" mean? Isn't it the mammoth?


Sigismund von Herberstein, an Austrian diplomat, writer, and historian (1486-1566) who often traveled to Russia and lived in this country a long time, writes in his book about Russia: "In Siberia...there are many species of birds and animals, like, for example, sables, martens, beavers, ermines, and squirrels... Besides it, the wes."


Who is this wes? An ethnologist P. Gorodkov communicated in his essay "A travel to Salym region of Siberia" in 1911 that in the language of the Hant people who lives in this area ("hanty", in Russian) "wes" means a strange animal that was covered by thick hair and had tusks.


Siberian Tatars were sure that this animal existed, and so describe it in their legends: "Mammoth, by its behavior, is a peaceful and nice animal, when it meets people it doesn't attack them but tries to fondle them". As you can see, the mammoth in their folklore was something like the bear in Russian and European folklore, and not an exotic creature.


But maybe, this problem could be solved much simplier: two eagles instead of one two-headed.


Der Voron, author of the book "Starcraft" (




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Author`s name Margarita Kicherova