Spanish Flag & Coat of Arms

Have you been wondering about the image that occupies the big yellow band on the Spanish flag? Read on to find out more about the Spanish Coat of Arms.

The image that occupies the space on the yellow band of the tricolor Spanish flag is known as the coat of arms. This unique imagery is quite an intriguing graphic image that sets the Spanish flag apart from others. A person unaware of the history of the coat of arms can never even imagine what the symbolism is for. For the Spanish however the coat of arms holds a very important place in history. Over the years the coat of arms has undergone a series of revisions and was finalized as what it is today in the late 1970’s.

Spanish Coat of Arms

The Pillars of Hercules are situated on both the sides of the coat of arms. This is the mythological name of the Straits of Gibraltar. There is a banner that goes around the pillars which have the Latin saying “Plus Ultra” meaning more beyond. This motto is in reference to the Americas along with the land that was once under the Spanish kingdom. Sitting on top of the pillars are two crowns. One of the crowns is supposed to be the Imperial crown whereas the other is the Royal crown. It is interesting to note that prior to the voyages of Christopher Columbus the motto on the coat of arms was Ne plus ultra which meant nothing more beyond as at that time those were the boundaries of the known world.

Another interesting factor to note is that the lion on the coat of arms is recorded as being purple by law but the actual lion on the symbol is violet and pink. This act of the Spanish government has been widely criticized by the heraldry specialists of Spain. The items on the coat of arms however did not all appear at the same time rather each item was added on according to the successive events that came to pass.

The base of the coat of arms we find today was laid down with the marriage of Isabel and Ferdinand. These catholic kings as they were known developed the coat of arms with the representation of the unification of Castile and Leon. The eagle of Saint John along with the sable with an open crown was also part of the arms. The re conquest of Granada brought another element to the arms and the final change to the coat of arms was brought by the annexation of Naples and Navarra. The base composition has remained the same since then but each successive government has made different modifications in terms of design and usage of the coat of arms.


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