Carantan panther

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The so-called Carantan panther ( Slovenian karantanski panter , after the medieval Principality of Carantania ) or Black Panther ( Slovenian črni panter ) is a stylized black heraldic panther on a silver background , which was first featured on the coat of arms of the Carinthian Duke Herman II from the Spanheim family in the 12th century is verifiable. The Spanheim dukes kept the panther in their seals until 1246. Its role as the Carinthian coat of arms at that time and its derivation as a Carantanic or even Noric symbol is controversial, but has met with considerable resonance , especially among nationally conscious Slovenes .

The symbol is also used in association badges in parts of the Slovenian security forces ; namely within the armed forces and the Slovenian police . Since the independence of Slovenia in 1991 there have been several proposals to replace the coat of arms of Slovenia with the Carantan panther.


The origin of the symbol is unclear. According to archaeologist and historian Andrej Pleterski , it appears for the first time in the coat of arms of the Carinthian Sponheimer line. The historian Peter Štih denies a historically verifiable relationship with Carantania. In contrast, the controversial lay historian Jožko Šavli , a supporter of the Venetian theory , attributes the black panther to the Roman province of Noricum , from which it was taken over by Carantania and later the Styrian nobility , from which the Styrian coat of arms developed.

Controversial use

Symbol of Carantania

The symbol of the black panther in its current form was first reconstructed in the 1980s by the historian Jožko Šavli. Šavli claimed that he had discovered several noble families from ancient Carantania who have a black panther in their family arms . He also claimed that he discovered several documents mentioning the black panther as an ancient symbol of Carantania. From all of these presumed clues, he reconstructed the panther as the likely symbol of the Carolingian Carantania.

Šavli's conclusions quickly gained popularity among young Slovenian patriots and nationalists .

Symbol of Carinthia

Although the black panther is undisputed as the coat of arms of the Carinthian dukes, academic historians such as Peter Štih dispute the hypothesis that the black panther was the symbol of the Carolingian and Ottonian duchies of Carinthia itself. In their view, any sources that would suggest such a conclusion are vague. In addition, there is no direct evidence that the symbol was used in the Slavic principality of Carantania.

Current use


Jožko Šavli's stylized version of the black panther is widely used within the Slovenian armed forces and police. Within the Slovenian military, the symbol can be found on the coat of arms of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces ( Slovenian Generalštab Slovenske vojske ) and the United Operational Center ( Slovenian Združeni operativni center ), although in the latter case the panther is a mirror image to the right. The Carantan panther is also referred to in the coat of arms of the special unit of the Slovenian police, which shows a red panther on a black shield. This unit is commonly known as the Red Panther ( Slovenian Rdeči panterji ).

Individual evidence

  1. Erik Valenčič: Mitološke prikazni ( Slovenian ) In: . June 3, 2010.
  2. Intervju P. Štiha against Mladini, December 15, 2005
  3. Jožko Šavli: Slovenska znamenja ( Slovenian ) 1994, ISBN 961-6097-00-8 .
  4. Generalštab Slovenke vojske (Slovenian) . Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  5. ^ Združeni operativni center (Slovenian) . Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ Specialna enota (Slovenian) . Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  7. Mitja Felc: Rdeči panterji se dan za dnem urijo za pomoč, udarnost in ostrino (Slovenian) , official website. August 2, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  8. Rdeči panterji sodelovali v taktični vaji Atlas Common Challenge 2013 (Slovenian) . April 19, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  9. Tina Hacler: Photo: Policijski specialci - najprej znoj in kri, nato zvestoba do groba (Slovenian) , RTV Slovenija official website. May 23, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  10. MM, UZ: Photo: Policijski specialci - najboljši med najboljšimi (Slovenian) , 24ur official website. May 22, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 


  • Andrej Pleterski, "Karantanski Rašamon ali with pred mitom" in Delo , y. 39, n.118 (May 24, 1997).
  • Peter Štih, "Brskanje po zgodovini in iskanje slovenskih simbolov" in Delo, y. 30, n.130 (June 6, 1990).
  • Jožko Šavli, Slovenski simboli (Bilje: Založba Humar, 1995).