Legia Warsaw pennant

Links With The Past: Gifts From Legia Warsaw

One consequence of this season’s UEFA Europa League matches is for more pennants and gifts from Leicester City’s opponents to be added to the Club’s heritage collection.
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The pennants illustrated here were swapped by the captains of Legia Warsaw and Leicester City before the tie in Poland earlier this season.

Both pennants indicate that the match was played at the ‘Marshall Jósef Piłsudski’s Municipal Stadium of Legia Warsaw.’ Traditionally known as Polish Army Stadium, reflecting the team’s army roots, Legia Warsaw have been playing there since 1930.

It was significantly reconstructed between 2008 and 2011 so that it is now the fifth largest stadium in the Ekstraklasa (Polish top flight) with a capacity of 31,800. The stadium is named after Jósef Piłsudski because he is regarded as the father of modern Poland.

At the beginning of 20th century, Poland was not an independent nation. It was split between the German, Hapsburg and Russian Empires. When these empires collapsed as a result of the First World War, an independent Polish Republic was established for the first time since 1795.

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Legia Warsaw pennant
Legia Warsaw pennant

A nod to Poland's history is included on this pennant from Legia Warsaw.

Between 1919 and 1921, as Head of State and First Marshal of the Polish Army, Piłsudski fought six border wars to redefine Poland’s borders. He remained a dominant figure in Poland until his death in 1936.

The front of the pennant from Legia Wasaw displays the Club’s green, white, red and black crest, which was introduced in 1957. This also used to appear on the players’ shirts, but in 2002, the shirt crest was redesigned as a simple large black ‘L ’in a white circle with a black border.

Legia Warsaw is now one of only a few clubs whose official logo is different from the one displayed on the shirts.

The white eagle with a gold crown set against a red background is on the reverse of Legia Warsaw’s pennant. The red background represents the blood spilled to safeguard the Polish nation. The wings are spread out to protect all Polish people and people of Polish descent, wherever they may live.

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Legia Warsaw gift
Legia Warsaw gift

Another gift from Legia Warsaw formally acknowledges the first Group C fixture against Leicester City.

When Poland lost its independence in 1795, the eagle became a symbol to motivate Poles to fight to regain their nationhood. When Poland fell under Soviet Russian rule from 1947-1989, the crown was removed from the eagle, but it was restored in 1990.   

On the club's shirts, a simpler badge is used. The gold star above the ‘L’ indicates that the Polish club has won 10 or more Polish League titles. (They have in fact won 15). The ‘L’ logo with a star can also be seen on Legia Warsaw’s gift to Leicester City.

This is a silver plaque which also contains details of the fixture played in Poland.

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