The Electoral Palatinate (German: Kurpfalz) was one of the electoral member states of the Holy Roman Empire. Established in the late eleventh century, its electoral dignity and strategic position on the Rhine made it one of the most important imperial states. The Palatinate was mauled by Napoleonic France in 1803 and ceased to exist with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806.
The Palatine coat of arms originally consisted of only a black field with a gold lion, a design which dates back to the year 1156, when Conrad of Hohenstaufen became count palatine. The coat of arms was eventually quartered with that of the House of Wittelsbach, which inherited the Palatinate in the mid fourteenth century.