Coat of arms of Venezuela: History and Meaning

He Shield of Venezuela , officially called the Coat of Arms of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is one of the main patriotic symbols that represent that country, in conjunction with the national anthem and the national flag.

The shield is a visual emblem of the state of greatest official importance both nationally and internationally. It represents mainly the state sovereignty achieved thanks to its independence.

Coat of arms of Venezuela: History and Meaning

This emblem is used in official documents issued by the state, such as a passport and other identification documents.

It forms part of the national seal of state, with which national legislations and international treaties are formalized.

Like any national coat of arms, it follows the rules of heraldry in the design and use of graphic symbols.

The design contains the traditional heraldic elements: the crest in the center, figures on the bell or top, two supports on each side and flags on the bottom. These flags show dates, decorations and the official name of the nation.

Description and meaning


It is the main, central and most visual part of the coat of arms. The shape of its support is of the traditional quadrilateral standard.

However, the angles of the upper corners are prolonged and those of the lower corners are rounded. The latter join at a point in the center.

His field is divided into three sections: a left upper quarter, a right upper quarter and one throughout the lower half.

Each section shows a color of the national flag and a series of symbolic elements.

The left quarter is of red field, that symbolizes the blood shed by the heroes in the independence fights.

On the red appears the figure of a golden bunch of 23 spikes mieses, tied below but unfolded. These represent the union of the 23 states of the country and symbolize the fraternity and wealth of the nation.

The right quarter is yellow, and symbolizes the gold and fertile lands of the country. On this field there is a sword, a spear, a machete, bow and arrow inside a quiver, and two national flags.

All these elements are intertwined by a crown of laurels and symbolize triumph in war.

The lower quarter or base occupies almost half of the shield: it covers the middle of both flanks plus the center and the entire tip of the standard.

This field is blue, which symbolizes the sea that surrounds the Venezuelan coasts. There is a white horse galloping to the left and looking forward. This represents independence and freedom.


In the upper part of the shield are two white cornucopias arranged horizontally.

They are intertwined in the middle and have the horns up and towards the center. This composition is known as"horns of plenty".

The cornucopias are presented crowning the crest and crammed with scattered fruits and flowers, symbolizing the innumerable Venezuelan riches.

Supports and decorations

On the left side of the shield is an olive branch and on the right side a palm branch, both are joined at the bottom with a ribbon that shows the three colors of the Venezuelan flag.

The tricolor ribbon is arranged in such a way that it shows four sections of decorations on the sides, and one below and to the center. In the blue band of the ribbon the following inscriptions can be read in gold:

- On the left side:"April 19, 1810"and"Independence". This indicates the date of Venezuela's declaration of independence.

- On the right side:"February 20, 1959"and"Federation". This indicates the date of the taking of the Chorus, the battle that started the Federal War.

- Down and in the center:"Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela", which is the official name of the nation.


The forms, colors and symbols known in the design of the current coat of arms of Venezuela were approved by Congress on April 18, 1836.

Prior to this, the shield went through several changes of design and symbols, due to the many political changes that Venezuela suffered from the colonial era until the first decades after Independence.

Colonia and independence struggles

The first coat of arms was sent to be designed by King Felipe II of Spain at the end of the 16th century, when the territory was still a Spanish colony and was called the General Captaincy of Venezuela.

This shield was conferred to the main city with the name of Santiago de León de Caracas. It showed the characteristic lion in its coat of arms and other symbols that are still unchanged in the coat of arms of the city of Caracas, the capital of Venezuela.

Coat of arms of Venezuela: History and Meaning 1

In 1811 the first drastic change in the shield occurred due to the signing of the Act of Independence and the creation of the first Republic.

This shield was circular in shape and had seven stars around the center. On yellow beams a Latin motto was read on the top.

For the second Republic, in 1812, the same circle with stars was placed on a condor that was shown taking on both legs a bunch of arrows and a caduceus of Mercury.

During the process of creation and establishment of the Gran Colombia, in the third Republic (1914-1919), the previous design is abandoned by the one of an angled blazon in the inferior tip, with three points in the superior part and without supports.

It showed an Indian sitting with bow and arrows, observing the sea and the sun on the horizon.

In 1919 spears, laurels and olive trees were added to the sides and in the bell. Three white stars were also added in the sky above the sun. This design officially belonged to Gran Colombia.

In 1921, when the Republic of Colombia was established, the previous designs were abandoned and a new one was adopted: an oval showing two cornucopias upwards, full of food and with weapons in the center.

After independence

In 1930, when the State of Venezuela was formed, the previous design was used but the cornucopies were turned downwards, with the horns remaining upwards. The bottom of the oval changes from white to yellow.

In 1936 the design and symbols almost identical to the current coat of arms were adopted. By then, the cornucopias were already located in the bell and retained the previous yellow color.

The white horse on the blue background was shown galloping to the right side on a green floor. The yellow barracks had only one sword, one sword and one spear.

Coat of arms of Venezuela: History and Meaning 2

The spikes were only 20, and the tapes with the inscriptions on the bottom were white. In the borders you could read"April 19, 1810","July 5, 1811","Independence","Freedom"and"God and Federation".

After the victory in the Federal War the inscriptions on the borders are replaced by those that are currently read.

In 1959 and with the new Constitution after the fall of military dictatorships, the yellow cornucopias are changed to white and the horse looks to the left but continues to walk to the right. The lower tapes change from white to the current tricolor.

In 2006 the following changes were made: 23 spikes were defined, a machete and indigenous weapons were added in the yellow quarter, and the horse now gallops completely to the left side. The green soil is eliminated.


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  3. World Atlas. Venezuelan Symbols. Retrieved from
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  7. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (2006). Official Gazette number 38,394 of March 9, 2006 - Chapter III, Article 8 of the Coat of Arms. Autonomous Service National Printing and Official Gazette. Recovered from

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