The district was created in 1821, when the duchy of Fulda became a province of Hesse, and was split into four districts. The last change to the district was in 1975, when the Hünfeld district was added to the district.
The left side of the coat of arms shows a black cross, the sign of the monastery of Fulda. The lion on the right side is taken from the Hesse coat of arms, symbolizing that the district was part of Hesse 1821–1866, and again after 1945. The coat of arms was granted in 1936.