The Wolfsangel (German pronunciation: [ˈvɔlfsˌʔaŋəl]) is a German heraldic charge inspired by historic wolf traps, consisting of two metal parts and a connecting chain. The top part of the trap, which resembled a crescent moon with a ring inside, used to be fastened between branches of a tree in the forest while the bottom part, on which meat scraps used to be hung, was a hook meant to be swallowed by a wolf. The simplified design based on the iron “wolf-hook” was often heavily stylized to no longer resemble a baited hook hung from a tree or an entire wolf traps. Other names included Wolfsanker (“wolf-anchor”) or Wolfsjagd as well as hameçon or hameçon de loup, a half-moon shape with a ring, or as cramp or crampon in English with a ring at the center, sometimes also called Doppelhaken (“double-hook”), or a crampon with a transversal stroke. All of these symbols are still found in a number of municipal coats of arms in Germany. The crampon is also found as a mason’s mark in medieval stonework.
In early times, believed to possess magical powers, it became a symbol of liberty and independence after its adoption as an emblem of a peasant revolt in the 15th century against the oppression of the German princes and their mercenaries
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