The Polish White Eagle has been Poland’s national symbol since the country’s conversion to Catholicism.
It was the official symbol of the first (crowned) king of Poland, King Bolesław I Chrobry. His father, Prince Mieszko I, united the tribes of Poland, but was never officially crowned king, something that required the blessing of the Pope in Rome.
Since becoming Poland’s symbol, each successive King had his own version drawn up, which slightly altered the design. The White Eagle was banned during the partitions of Poland (from 1772 to 1918), gloriously re-emerging in the inter-war period when Poland regained its independence. Unfortunately, the Soviets and Nazis banned it once again during World War II. After the war, the Soviets (in their infinite generosity) allowed the White Eagle to once again be used, but without the crown on its head… something that angered the Poles.
Since the fall of communism, the crown is back! Take that, oppressors!