Tryzub (Ukrainian Trident)

The Tryzub (pronounced “treh-zoob”) is the ubiquitous symbol of Ukraine. The ancient symbol is believed to have originated as a tribal symbol; today it is emblazoned on the country’s flag, on postage, money, business logos, even Easter eggs! The highly stylized version seen almost everywhere in Ukraine originated as the family crest of Volodymyr, a tenth century Ukrainian Prince.

Today, the tryzub is worn as a symbol of national pride, as a symbol of the Christian trinity, or as a synthesis of the divine elements of fire and water in the manifest world.

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Trident meaning | Bestsparkles
April 1, 2012 at 9:17 am

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle Zastawny June 27, 2014 at 8:30 am

I also have both side of my Great Grandparents come to the State in the late 1898, the Jacob Zagrodny went to Canada then on the the States through Detroit were my Grandmother Browslawa ZagRodny settled with her three children. On my fathers side my Grandfather Michal Zastawny came to New York where he met his sister, then on to Sheffelf, PA. To work the coal mines he met my Grandmother Anna Czwakiel while repairing her fathers roof. I don’t speak Ukrainian my two older sisters did go to Imaccaulate Conception in Hamtramack, Mi then to Girls Catholic Central for high school. If anyone knows my surnames history please contact me

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Buaioeae March 9, 2014 at 4:57 am

I will always remember that TRYZUB means hundred thousand Polish people murdered by Ukrainians Nationalists (UPA) with Tryzub as their symbol.

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Mikhail March 3, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Its the same as the ancient Vedic symbol known as Tryzul / Trishul – which represents the Trident symbol of Shiva.

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Anonymous January 19, 2014 at 7:57 am

why is this classed as a viking, norse, asatru symbol?

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Jennifer January 20, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Many symbols appear in multiple categories. The aim is not to be terribly specific, but to allow people to most easily locate a symbol.

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Marwill April 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Question. I’m of Ukrainian ancestry – third generation Canadian. Always knew the tryzub to be a Ukranian symbol.
Just returned from a vacation in Sicily. Started to research stuff from the Lampedusa novel ‘the Leopard’ and was looking up ‘bersagleri’ – an Italian and now largely Sicilian militia. A lot of the regiments have the tryzub on their coat of arms. What gives?

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Jennifer May 2, 2013 at 7:52 pm

You had me totally thrown for a minute- that is definitely a tryzub. This appears to be a credible and logical explanation:

The units that made it back to Axis lines and were raised again after the War, were allowed to add the Ukrainian Tryzub to their Coat of Arms if they had won a Medal of Military Valor during the Italian campaign in the Soviet Union.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Coat_of_arms_of_Ukraine#Italian_Army_use

Looks like there are quite a number who use the tryzub.

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Oleg November 12, 2013 at 4:42 am

The Italian Army heraldry allows units to add symbols to their Coat of Arms for every Medal of Military Valor awarded to the unit. These symbols correspond to the countries/territories were the Medal of Valor was acquired. During World War II the 8th Army was sent to fight on the Eastern Front. This Army was almost entirely destroyed during Operation Little Saturn. The units that made it back to Axis lines and were raised again after the War, were allowed to add the Ukrainian Tryzub to their Coat of Arms if they had won a Medal of Military Valor during the Italian campaign in the Soviet Union. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Coat_of_arms_of_Ukraine)

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Jeffrey Knipp February 20, 2013 at 1:14 am

100% American and I see the Tryzub as symbol of a great people. I’ve been to Ukraine twice and each time I have come to love the people more and more. I proudly display the Tryzub in honor of my wife, 100% Ukrainian (Simferopol).

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Ian MacEwan December 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Я не український, але років тому бачив українських емігрантів у США літаючі український прапор з Тризуб красується на це. Я не знаю, як це називається, але бачив, як птах у польоті вниз, і згадав Матвія 3:16, «як тільки Ісус був хрещений, він піднявся з води. У цей момент небо відкрилося, і побачив Іван Духа Божого, що спускався, як голуб, і освітлення на нього. «Поки я вирішив зробити деякі дослідження, я завжди бачив, як голуб. і це присутність на цей прапор, як українські засланців висловити свою християнську опозицію до радянської тиранії, з якої вони втекли. (Переклад Google.)

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Ian MacEwan December 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I am not Ukrainian, but years ago saw Ukrainian immigrants to the U.S.A. flying a Ukrainian flag with the Tryzub emblazoned on it. I didn’t know what it was called, but saw it as a bird in downward flight, and remembered Matthew 3:16, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.” Until I decided to do some research, I always saw it as that dove. and it’s presence on that flag as Ukrainian exiles expressing their Christian opposition to the Soviet tyranny from which they fled.

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Олександр November 29, 2012 at 9:13 am

I am fresh Canadian. From Ukraine 2 years past. I love Ukraine and I love Canada. Canada has money. Money helps lives better. ‘tryzub’ stand for freedom. Break from those crazy Communists and forever on black list. One day in future, the oppressors must pay. Doont lose track of heritage, love for Ukraine, and past disrespects towards Ukrainians.
14/88

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HATAH YÏTHI November 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm

i read every comment here and have been doing research on the symbol
before i get it permanantly inked on me. i’m 17 and have recently been getting
really into culture through generations of Ukrainian backgrounds. I was born in
Canada.
- I just wanted to say that there shouldn’t be so much hate and fighting and
douchebaggery about this peacefull symbol.
Live long Ykpaïha!

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yocip October 3, 2012 at 10:31 am

i am ukrainian and both parnts lived their untill they were 30 so i have heard many things about the tryzub i have a shirt of it and i totally agree with iryna. and ya when i see those bumper stickers im mad proud that im ukrainian. Be ukrainian!

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Vasil August 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm

саркастичний чоловік, YOU ARE THE MAN AND A REAL HOHOL!!! The rest are like you said douche bags. They have no concept of the country and actually look down on people who are from Ukraine. These so cold “Ukrainczi” are full of empty partitism that only serves to make themselves feel better about their doucheness. All the dump religious and racist shit that they believe should be tossed in the garbage along with their ideas about Ukraine.

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John July 20, 2012 at 1:25 am

Its not about what the symbol means in history who cares about history its something for people to find there own meaning in and also to remember ALL the meanings it has and will have, it represents everything ukrainian even perogies!

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John July 20, 2012 at 1:18 am

I just got it tattood on me inside of a canadian leaf ukrainians are famous for their family ties and i got it not only to show respect to my heritage on both sides but to my family members, iv never been to the ukraine but i think that this tattoo and my last name make me pretty ukrainian and call me a douchebag but i think it is an amazing symbol and when i do go to ukraine i will be able to show not only my ukrainian pride but the tryzub adds that much more to my canadian pride as well

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Nadia June 18, 2012 at 6:57 am

I have read everyones comment and Iryna said it the best . There is a documentary on how 6 million Ukrainians where murdered, children, mothers , fathers , grandparents and how U.S would not step in to help, it saddens me, as just being 1 person, I can’t fight the world. I also have a tatoo of the tryzub and am very proud of it. I wish the Ukrainians would of stuck together as a whole in the United States, I grew up in Hamtramck with the Polish, learned both Langauges and very proud. Stay Proud

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Lisa March 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm

There’s no reason for argument, although very interesting read. My parents both from the Ukraine gave me a tryzub when I was young. Now I want to tattoo it on my wrist…in honor of my Baba’s passing. She supported her sisters and brother in Ukraine for 50 years from the United States. I can’t wait to go visit my family there someday. Thanks for the meanings!

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Christina March 5, 2012 at 1:58 pm

As a Ukrainian, you should be proud to see the tryzub anywhere, I know I am! This is a symbol of strength, Christianity & the unity of our people. How dare you call fellow Ukrainians douche bags for placing this beloved symbol on their vehicle. They are taking pride in their heritage! I hope that one day I am able to go to Ukraine and indulge in my rich heritage as opposed to the bits and pieces that we see around in other parts of the world. Slava i Volya !

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Volodymyr February 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I who am only fourteen and moved to U.S. very recently can still clearly remember what the tryzub means because it was beat into my head with a stick so unlike all of you who have forgot what it really stands for I still remember and I agree with Natalia
the symbol stand for letters which spells out its meaning.

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nicky morgan December 29, 2011 at 7:07 am

i would like to thankyou all for the info on the tryzub except that fool who was showing no respect for Ukrainian people, my grandad came from Ukraine and had to leave his home which he loved so very much to fight in the war.He never got to go back home and i saw in his eyes for many years the sadness of this.One day i hope to visit his beloved Ukraine. Sadly for me my grandad passed away 17yrs ago so i never got to find out more about his homeland and traditions so now as an adult and mother i am trying to find out as much about Ukraine as i can so i can keep it alive in our family, i am proud that my grandad was Ukrainian.

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D. Sedlarczuk November 22, 2011 at 7:49 am

Strength,Unity & Freedom… History show’s of all..

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Sergei Bosnov October 27, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Im ukrainian and was raised in an orphange and i love where i came from even though it was tough. but i take pride in my heritage. i have a tattoo of the tryzub and i was raised also by the meaning as unity democracy and christianity. I FUCKIN LOVE UKRAINIANS!

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Yurko Variat October 17, 2011 at 11:02 pm

саркастичний чоловік is a durak obviously. The tryzub is something we Ukrainians are very proud of even those that have not been to Ukraina. My tryzub is the one with the sword in middle. Yes, the tryzub date back as our pysanka to pre-christianity. Please join me on FaceBook if you want to be a friend, George Yurko Variat. Slava i Volya.

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Stefania September 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I may not live in Ukraine but I am very proud to be Ukrainian. My grandmother is from Ukraine and I have a necklace from her with the Tryzub and she has always told me that it means, “unity, democracy, and Christianity.” I get the sense from her that it stands for many things and is a symbol of strength for the Ukrainian people. And people can be proud of their heritage even if they can’t afford to go visit Ukraine.

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Tanya September 10, 2011 at 9:24 am

Now if those who are truly Ukrainian, would NEVER EVER say or write
THE UKRAINE ! A fact known to us all and an insult when said incorrectly, example
I-raq (Iraq) , I-Talians (Italians) , Czech … Slovakia … No lobger czechoslovakia… Same thing…

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Stefka September 9, 2011 at 7:36 pm

well, саркастичний чоловік, considering you call it “the Ukraine” doesnt exactly go to show much for your knowledge…

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Lynda August 31, 2011 at 11:34 am

“The Ukrainian Trident” by Alexander Belov and George Shapovalov, published in 2008 by the Institute of Ukrainian Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine is an academic work that relies on archaeological evidence to demonstrate that the trident is a form of ANCHOR. It was found on coins from the Kyivan Rus era and many pre-Christian anchors and images have been found carved into tiles and walls of temples throughout the Crimea and southern Ukraine. It is an excellent read and very well researched.

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peter August 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm

The last comment dated April 30, 2011 is so very pathetic. When I see those ‘bumper stickers’ I see pride and an attempt to show respect to their ancestry.
If you were born outside of the Ukraine you are apparently not worthy of that writer’s respect. If that arrogant comment is indicative of Ukrainians, then let me quickly denounce my heritage.

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саркастичний чоловік April 30, 2011 at 11:11 am

And now it’s a bumper sticker plastered all over the cars of douchebags who have never even been to the Ukraine and have no real patriotic feelings about their country of origin.

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fatlittlekossak April 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Tryzub literally means three tooth or trident. Stylized gold trident on azure background is a national symbol of Ukraine. Colors and shapes all have symbolic meanings and have been added to over the ages. Gold for wheat and azure for clear blue sky, etc. It was a tool (not weapon) used by Poseidon for fishing, designed to reduce margin of error due to refractive index of light. I believe it predates the holy trinity concept.

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Taras December 27, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Just putting my 2 cents in, I am 100% Ukrainian as well, and I would like to inform you that both sides of the argument are correct. Yes, it is an ancient symbol, and yes, it was altered over time to represent the letters (VOLYA). The tryzub form has been altered countless times, and does represent the trinity and the elements of life. As Volodymyr embodied this symbol to Ukraine, it has come to stand for freedom and was highly represented as such during Russian (and other) occupations.

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Iryna August 6, 2010 at 2:07 am

KungFuJesus is a little confused as to what Natalia was trying to say, being that the word for FREEDOM – ВОЛЯ (trasliteration: VOLYA) – is both what the Tryzub represents and (with a great stretch of the imagination) the cyrillic letters for the word can be seen in the emblem.

I’m sorry, Natalia. Being Ukrainian doesn’t make you correct. While the historical definition is brief, the admin team ARE correct.

Bear in mind that the Tryzub is an ancient symbol, with theories as to its origins being as diverse as the representations of it that have been unearthed, so, naturally, throughout the history of Ukraine, different epochs and regions have attributed convolutions of their own to the symbol.

I, like you, am Ukrainian. The one thing about the Tryzub never contested within the large diasporic community of Ukrainians representing every region of the Ukraine I was brought up with was its meaning. While it may embrace such concepts of liberty, freedom and independence, it is understood to be the symbol of strength in unity/solidarity. Even in looking at its intricate, powerful, interwoven form, you can see that it evokes a sense of being solid and unbreakable.

As a form, it is beautiful to look at. As a symbol, it has withstood the test of time because it addresses the concept of people united as force to be reckoned with. You have, I would imagine, heard of ‘divide and conquer’?

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KungFuJesus June 19, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Hey Natalia it says Tryzub up there but you said Truzyb means freedom. If you’re Ukranian you would’ve noticed that difference, right?

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Anonymous February 20, 2014 at 6:21 am

The letters “y” and “u” are opposite of how we pronounce/use them in English as compared to Ukrainian. The interchanging of these letters is common of native Ukrainian speakers. Don’t be rude.

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admin December 4, 2009 at 7:41 pm

I assure you (not as a Ukrainian, but as a researcher) that the meaning above is correct. The symbol is older even than the language, and the country itself. It is the nature of symbols to accumulate additional layers of meaning.

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Natalia December 4, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Hey, I’m sorry but that is not the meaning of truzyb. I don’t know If you are Ukrainian, I am. This is something Ukrainian people should, but don’t know. The symbol represents FREEDOM nothing else. FREEDOM. If you speak Ukrainian you should know that freedom means VOLYA and the symbol has the Ukrainian letters in it. If you look close enough you will see the word.

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taras August 27, 2009 at 6:54 pm

to see some original tryzub designs, go to tapac333.webs.com

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