National Arms of Puerto Rico
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Civic heraldry of the United States
NATIONAL ARMS OF PUERO RICO
Territory : Puerto Rico
These arms are probably the oldest arms on the Western Hemisphere. The name of the island used to be San Juan. Its capital, with a good harbour, Puerto Rico. Somewhere in the 16th or 17th century the names were mixed, so the island is now called Puerto Rico.
The arms show symbols of the history, culture and religion. It was first granted by the Spanish Crown in 1511, but it wasn't until March 9,1905 that a law, establishing the official coat of arms was signed. After numerous investigations and amendments to that statute, the final version was approved and signed into law in 1976.
The green background stands for the vegetation, hope and courtesy. The lamb symbolises peace, purity, humble, integrity, and holds a white flag with a red cross. The flag means "truce", or knowledge to stop fighting. Both, the lamb and the flag, are symbols of "John The Baptist" or San Juan Bautista, the original name given by the Spanish settlers.
The bordure is covered by 16 symbols: castles signifying the "Kingdom of Castilla" and lions, representing the "Kingdom of Leon" and a flag, with both, lions and castles, representing the unity of both kingdoms, also shows the "Cross of Jerusalem" used by the Monarchs to expel the "non christians" from the Spanish peninsula. The crown on top symbolises the "Royalty" who authorised this shield. To the right, an "F" for Fernando, to the left, a "Y" for Ysabel, the King and Queen of the Spanish Empire. The motto reads: "Joannes Est Nomem Ejus", it means "John is it name", the original name of the island.
Literature : Image and information received from Juan Morales, Florida, USA.
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