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Heraldica Española - Spanish Civic Heraldry


The present (=right) arms of Asturias are officially granted in 1984. The left arms were used from the 1970s to 1984.

The oldest official arms of the Principality of Asturias date from the 16th century. These arms show a quartered shield with in the first quarter the castle of the Kingdom of Castilla, and in the fourth the lion of León (see the Spanish National arms). The second and third quarter showed a goblet (calíz).These arms have been in use for nearly two centuries.

In the 18th century the arms were replaced by the current cross. The cross is the Cross of Victory, which is present in the cathedral of Oviedo. The cross is the symbol of the re-conquest of Spain by the Catholic Kings on the Moors, which ended in 1492. The cross was used by the local governor, Don Pelayo, in the initial battles against the Moors. It was assumed that the cross brought victory, and the cross was later plated with gold. The Christian symbols of A and Omega were added later. Originating in Asturias, it was considered an appropriate symbol for the Principality.

The motto refers to the history of the cross. "HOC SIGNO VINCITUR INIMICUS. HOC SIGNO TUETUR PIUS" can be translated as "This symbol brought victory over the enemy. This symbol protects the pious.".

The arms basically never changed, except that there has been much discussion on the exact shape and decorations of the cross during the last two centuries, with the present arms officially being described in 1984.

Literature : de Cadenas, A. A. and de Cadenas, V., 1985; Gómez, 1994.

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