Coat of arms of Puerto Rico
The major symbolism of the coat of arms relates to the dominance of Spain, the strong Roman Catholic influence in the region, and the integrity of Puerto Rico as a colony of Spain. There have been different variations of the coat of arms changing throughout Puerto Rico’s history. The current version was officially re-adopted by the Commonwealth government of Puerto Rico in 3 June 1976.
On the shield: The green background represents the island’s vegetation. The Lamb of God and cross flag on the shield are symbols traditionally associated with St. John the Baptist, patron of the island.
The book with the seven seals on which the lamb sits represents symbolism from the Book of Revelation, generally attributed to St. John the Apostle.
The border is made up of 16 different elements: castles and lions to represent the Kingdom of Castile and the Kingdom of León, a flag with the arms of the Crown of Castile and León, and The Cross of Jerusalem to stand for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, whose succession rights passed to the Kingdom of Sicily, and henceforth to the Spanish Crown.
The gold-crowned F and the arrows (Spanish: flechas) represent Ferdinand II of Aragon, while the Y and the yoke represent Ysabel, i.e., Isabella I of Castile who were the Catholic monarchs when Puerto Rico was discovered.
The Latin motto, “JOANNES EST NOMEN EJUS” (a quotation from the Vulgate of Luke 1:63), means “John is his name”, referring to St. John the Baptist or San Juan Bautista, the original name of the island.
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