The charge of the bear from earliest times has represented power, strength and ferocity of a warrior. Because the bear can stand on hind legs, it is usually depicted in this position on shields, flags, and crests and most closely aligned with the posture of man. Although the bear is not carnivorous, its power and strength is renewed each winter during hibernation. People have identified with the bear symbol during battle because of the enormous strength of this animal. While the bear is often seen as docile and gentle, it must be remembered that this clever creature can instantly call upon its claws, sharp teeth, and strong paws. The bear was most often used as a symbol in Germanic, Russian, Scandinavian, and Persian heraldry.
Across northern Europe, the bear was considered the king of animals until the 12th or 13th century. The Sami of Scandinavia and the Celts of Britain are among the indigenous peoples who revere the bear for its power.
Native American tribes of North America and Canada use the bear's hide for clothing and shelter, eat its meat for food, and wear its claws to bring protection and good luck. A mother bear is a particularly fierce protector of her cubs.
It is well known that the emblem of the bear is associated with tremendous strength. The folklore of most countries claims that if one wears a bear's claw, the strength of this beast will be passed on to the wearer.
Old Norse warriors called berkserkers likely wore cloaks made from bear pelts during battle. Many indigenous peoples, including the Celts of Britain, the Sami of Scandinavia, and the Native American tribes of North America, consider the bear a courageous warrior.
bear is also a symbol of resurrection, protector of family.
The coat of arms of the city of Bern
A passant bear has been the emblem and namesake of the Swiss capital Bern since the 13th century. According to legend, a bear - bär in German - was the first beast slain by the city's founder Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen.
The logo of the Toblerone chocolate bar, famous for its distinctive triangular-shaped pieces, is a stylised Matterhorn. But the mountain has a secret - a hidden bear, the symbol of the city of Bern where the bar is exclusively manufactured.
The Chicago Bears football team, UCLA Bruins basketball, and the Bern, Switzerland crest all have the bear in common. The crest of Lawson, Canada and the Missouri State Seal sport the bear figure, as do the signs in National Parks warning people of fire danger using Smokey the Bear icon.