Publication 'Family Coats of Arms in Contemporary Latvia' (2020)

The book 'Family Coats of Arms in Contemporary Latvia' (2020) is a unique publication about heritage and the identity signs - coats of arms - of Latvian families. The two-part edition illustrates the history of family coats of arms in the territory of Latvia from ancient times to the present day.

First book- 'Family Coats of Arms'

A theoretical and scientific publication containing descriptions and images of the coats of arms of 97 Latvian families, and 7 religious’ leaders. Such an edition has been published for the first time in the history of Latvian heraldry. The book also provides a dictionary of heraldic terms.

Second book- 'Generations & Coat of Arms'

The book includes stories from 60 families, who reveal their reasons for creating a family coat of arms, the emotional significance and practical application of it.

Editorial board

Ramona Umblija

Ramona Umblija

the author, editor, and content creator of the concept of the book

Jekaterina Belokoņa

Jekaterina Belokoņa

the project manager and co-author of the book

Imants Lancmanis

Imants Lancmanis

latvian art historian and heraldry specialist

Armands Vijups

Armands Vijups

historian and
heraldry specialist

Daina Teters

Daina Teters

philosopher, an international expert in semiotics

Valērijs Belokoņs

Valērijs Belokoņs

A majority shareholder of 'Baltic International Bank', Patron of Latvian literature

Laimonis Šēnbergs

Laimonis Šēnbergs

Chairman of the National Heraldry Commission

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga

former President of
the Republic of Latvia

The documentary film 'Family Coat of Arms in Contemporary Latvia'

The documentary film 'Family Coat of Arms in Contemporary Latvia' was created at the same time as the book by conducting video interviews with representatives of the editorial board and stories of the families that have chosen to capture their family values in the coat of arms.

The film is a cultural, historical, and emotional testimony to the beginnings of creating family coat of arms in Latvia. The film reflects the meaning and essence behind family coat of arms on an individual and societal level. The film also provides an insight of the artistic complexity of creating a coat of arms.


In collaboration with

kultūras ministrija

Facts about the publication and snapshots from the production

The task of creating and publishing both books was complex and time-consuming. While working on the content of the publication, a significant amount of information was collected and compiled. People, families, and communities from all over Latvia were involved in the creative process.

The creation of this publication took almost three years. The work behind the books was thoroughly documented in photographs and videos, thus capturing both the process of editorial board meetings and the joy and laughter during family gatherings.

The gathering of Latvian families (2018)

The gathering of Latvian families (2019)

Editorial board meeting (2019)

Editorial board meeting (2020)

Families tell their stories about creating the family coat of arms

Sējāni family

Dimanti family

Karlsoni-Beldiman family

Karlsoni family

Smildziņi-Rēdlihi family

Ozoliņi family

On the meaning and importance behind the family coat of arms

'The process of creating a coat of arms makes the family realize the value behind it.' Ramona Umblija

'We must not forget the classical values that have been entrenched through generations.' Jekaterina Belokoņa

'The coat of arms symbolizes the continuity of the family regardless of time.' Valērijs Belokoņs

'I am very glad to see Latvian families starting to create their family coat of arms.' Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga

'The nation is made up of close-knit families.' Imants Lancmanis

'Awareness of our ancestors is fundamental because it helps us understand ourselves.' Daina Teters

'I encourage families to look for their roots.' Laimonis Šēnbergs

'A family coat of arms is a beautiful old tradition that has remained.' Armands Vijups

'The families that create their coat of arms are aware of their belonging to society.' Edgars Sims

'Heraldic art in Latvia is
flourishing at the moment.'
Ilze Lībiete

'Mutual understanding is key to a successful collaboration between the artist and the family.' Laimonis Šēnbergs

'A coat of arms symbolizes the family’s identity that embodies both past and future.'
Imants Lancmanis

Where to purchase the book

The book 'Family Coats of Arms in Present-Day Latvia' can be purchased in bookstores throughout Latvia and by writing an e-mail to