Lech, Czech, and Rus

A long, long time ago three brothers traveled through Eastern Europe heading west to what is known as Poland today - their names were "Lech," "Czech," and "Rus." They were the fearless leaders of their Slavic tribe. Side by side they rode with their loyal warriors in front, protecting and leading the women and children that followed not far behind in wagons. They were all very tired of traveling for such a long time and were looking for a place they could settle once and for all.

One day, when the day was coming to an end, the tribe rode into a wide field within a forest. There, among the tall grasses of the field, grew a great big oak. Within the branches there was a nest of beautiful little white eagles. Lech, which was one of the three brothers, really began to like this place. He said to himself that he had never seen such a majestic place in his life before, as this one - and made the decision to stay here with part of his people. As he approached the great big oak, he ordered one of his warriors to take one of the baby eagles out of the nest. As Lech held the little white eagle in his hand, he looked at it with pride while enjoying the background color of the sky, which was red from the beautiful setting sun. From then on Lech decided that the noble white eagle would be his peoples symbol, and until this very day the symbol of the Polish people is the noble white eagle on a red background.

The two other brothers, Czech and Rus, who came with Lech decided to keep traveling and settle somewhere else. They said their last goodbyes and moved on. Czech went south and Rus went east.

Lech built a great big fortification around his settlement and named it "Gniezno," which means "eagle’s nest" in English - from the white eagle that he found there. Lech’s people are the descendents of Polish people - "Gniezno" became their first capitol.

Meanwhile Czech and Rus also settled in places they liked with their part of the tribe. From these two brothers came the two nations that are neighbors to Poland - Czechs in the south and Russians in the east.

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