The Glarner coat of arms shows saint Fridolin with his walking staff and Bible. Fridolin is believed to have lived at the beginning of the 6th century and converted many people in Glarnerland to Christianity. The legend tells that the rich Ursus bequeathed part of Glarnerland to Fridolin on his death bed. When Ursus' brother Landolf disputed the bequest, Fridolin asked the dead Ursus for help. When Ursus then appeared before the judge, Landolf was so terrified that he gave Fridolin his own inheritance as well.

Glarnerland is rich in legends, stories and history. These are some of the most important landmarks in the canton's history:

  • 1352: Glarus joined the Swiss Confederation.
  • 1388: On 9 April, the Glarner people freed themselves from Habsburg rule for ever. The battle at Näfels was the final battle in the conflict between Confederates and Habsburgs.
  • Around 1740: Land major Fridolin Streiff built the first textile printing works for cotton printing at Oberdorfbach in Glarus. 
  • 1799: Foreign armies battled in Glarnerland. The French clashed with the Russians under General Suvorov, who withdrew over the snowed-in Panixer pass.
  • 1864: The fabrics law rectified social injustices. Daily working hours were limited to 12 hours, night and child labour were prohibited, women in childbed were protected.
  • Around 1865: The textile industry sparked the "Glarner industrial miracle." At the high point of the boom, 6,000 people worked in the factories and weaving mills. Many of them lost their jobs at the collapse of the textile industry at the end of the 19th century and emigrated.
  • 1968 to 1972: Glarner women received partial voting rights. In 1972, the first women participated equally in local government.
  • 2006: The local government passed structural reforms. Three communities were formed out of 25 townships. On 1 January 2011, the reforms were permanently implemented.