Actual 45 mm size by Franz Homberg, Bern / Karl Jauslin, Muttenz
Arnold Schick, the great hero, grim and unyielding, bends the knee but never seeks for mercy from an enemy. Faithful Cross on his weary breastplate, he knows he fought his valedictory fight for the Confederacy. Impeded terribly by two bolts, his trusty sword lies broken at his feet. The end is near, he knows his wounds are mortal.
His last act of defiance, etched for posterity in the minds of his watching comrades, he holds on to the proud standard blazon of his birthplace, the Uri bull. With his right hand, he grasps a rock as he steadies his arm to give a mighty throw, bearing his most profound scorn at his wretched foe.
Amidst the rubble, stands the local hospital of St. Jacob, soon to be laid to waste by the Armagnacs of Daphne, the target of merciless bombardment by their heavy artillery.
"FÜR FREIHEIT UND VATERLAND" - "For Freedom and Fatherland"
"Da Friss Eine der Rosen" - "Here, Eat One of the Roses"
The blazon arms of the fine city of Basel, set forth canting Baselstab (staff of Basel), originally a venerable staff of rule wielded by Prince-Bishopric of Basel. From revered cross this blazon emblem emerges, declaring the virtues of independence and free rights of the Confederacy.
Couplet branches of the winner’s oaken and laurels woven intricately frame this proud emblem, bestowing glory on the victors of the free-shot Schützenfest competition.
"The Battle of St. Jakob an der Birs was fought on 26 Aug 1444. The Suisse (1,500 fighters) had attacked a much larger force of Armagnac mercenaries (40,000 strong) of Louis Dauphin of France, and categorically refused to surrender. They retreated to a last stand in a small hospital of St. Jakob, where they were decimated by artillery.
The Armagnacs were to advance towards Zurich to end the siege of the city by the Confederates. On the news of the swarming of the Armagnacs to the villages of Muttenz and Pratteln, the captains of the Confederate force encamped in front of the Farnsburg decided to make a foray with a part of their army. 1300 selected, mostly young warriors moved in the night of 25 to 26 August over Liestal, where they joined 200 Baselbieter Zuzüger down to the Rhine valley and overran there in the early morning the Armagnakische vanguard, In spite of a strict counter-command, the haughty Confederates crossed the Birs and found in the Gundeldinger field the 20,000-strong army of the French prepared for battle. This was followed by a ten-hour collision in which the Confederates invaded the enemy in their small numbers with such force. But gradually - because of the great superiority - the numerically inferiors were included from all sides. Since the Confederates, who had indeed sought the fight on the other side of the Birs repeatedly categorically refused surrender, they were - except for 16 fugitives, at last squeezed together in the garden of the infirmary, under devastating use of enemy artillery.
Legend has it that Knight Burkhard VII Münch mounted the battlefield as a negotiator. In view of the many dead and wounded, he could not resist mocking the defeated Confederates. He raised his visor and said the comment that had become famous in Switzerland; “Ich siche in ein rossegarten, den min fordren geret hand vor 100 [hunderd] joren” ("I gaze out into a rosarium, that my ancestors planted one hundred years ago"). Provoked by this arrogant phrase, one of the dying Swiss, one Arnold Schick of Uri, hurled a rock into the open visor. The equally famous answer that accompanied the throw was reported as: “Da friss eine der Rosen!” ("Here, eat one of the roses"). Burkhard fell from his saddle and was dragged from the battlefield. He died from his wounds three days later. The Swiss refusal to surrender led to the storming of the infirmary, in the course of which the remaining Confederates were almost completely cut down.
The news of the battle and the fearless and heroic commitment of the Confederate warriors spread rapidly across Europe. The battle witnessed the fighting spirit of the Confederation: Imperial City of Bern, City of Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Glarus City, and Office Zug, and City of Basel in the face of far superior numbers and contributing throughout Europe to the heroes' myth of the Confederation.”
In memory of the indomitable spirit of the Confederates shown at the Battle of St. Jakob der Birs fought on 26th August 1444, where in front of a vastly superior adversary, they displayed unwavering courage and remarkable fearlessness, cementing their fame as brave and dependable warriors from the Confederacy.