“The Norilsk coat of arms is a polar bear against the background of a traditional shield holding a key above its head. The key pattern consists of the word Norilsk and the chemical symbols for copper, nickel and cobalt. The shield is vertically divided into golden and black halves, the upper edge is the colors of the RSFSR State Flag. The figure of a bear rising to its full height personifies the power of high latitudes, the coloring of the shield – polar day and night, molten metal and subsoil. The figurative meaning of the coat of arms is: Norilsk is the key to the North, its secrets and riches, the Norilsk people are the discoverers.
In 2000, the coat of arms was changed a little. Signs of chemical elements on the key were removed from the modern symbol, and only the first letter N remained from the word Norilsk. The shield field is now cut with new colors – azure and scarlet, originating from the Russian flag.
At the same time, a new symbol appeared on the facade of the city administration instead of the old coat of arms of the RSFSR – the coat of arms of Norilsk.
By the way, the polar bear on the coat of arms is a symbol not only of Norilsk, but also of Greenland, as well as the Norwegian city of Hammerfest and Russian Perm, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and the Nizhnekolymsky region of Yakutia.
In the last issue of the History Spot photo project we told about Kravets street in Talnah, which at first had a beautiful name – Lesnaya.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive