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Coat of arms of Chile

Coat of arms of Chile
Armiger Republic of Chile
Adopted 26 June 1834
Crest Three feathers Azure, Argent, Gules
Torse Azure, Argent and Gules
Escutcheon Party per fess Azure and Gules a mullet argent
Supporters Dexter, A huemul proper, Sinister, a condor also proper, both navally crowned Or
Compartment A Pedestal Or on the bottom, white band with motto on the pedestal
Motto Por la razón o la fuerza
"By reason or by force"
"By right or might" (alternatively)

The coat of arms of Chile dates from 1834 and was designed by the English artist Charles Wood Taylor (1792-1856). It is made up by a figurative background divided in two equal parts: the top one is blue and the bottom, red. A five pointed white star is in the centre of the shield. This background is supported in one side by a condor, the most significant bird of prey from the Andes, and in the other, by a huemul, a mammal endemic to Chile. Both animals wear golden naval crowns symbolising the heroic deeds of the Chilean Navy in the Pacific Ocean.

The coat of arms is crowned by a three-feathered crest, each feather bearing one colour: blue, white and red. This crest was a symbol of distinction that former Presidents of the Republic used to wear on their hats.

Underneath the coat of arms and on the elaborated pedestal, there is a white band with the motto: Por la Razón o la Fuerza ("By reason or force").

This emblem is the last of a series of variations due to diverse circumstances and understandings.

The first coat of arms

First Chilean coat of arms

The first coat of arms was established during the office of President José Miguel Carrera, in 1812. It was designed over an oval in which center was depicted a column representing the Tree of Freedom. On top of this column was a terrestrial globe; over the globe, a lance and a palm leaf crossed and over these two, a star.

Standing, on both sides of the fixture, was the figure of an indigenous woman and a man. On top of everything was written, in Latin, Post Tenebras Lux ("After the Darkness, Light") and at the bottom, Aut Consiliis Aut Ense ("By Council or by Sword").

In 1817, two new coats of arms emerged, both variations of this last one, but did not last long.

Transitory coat of arms

Second Chilean coat of arms used in 1818

Two years later, on 23 September 1819, a new project for a coat of arms was approved in the Senate. It was a dark blue field, with a column standing on a white marble pedestal in the middle. On top of this column, the new American world with the word "Libertad" (English: Liberty) over it. Above this sign, a five pointed star, representing the Province of Santiago. Two similar stars, representing Concepción and Coquimbo, were at each side of the column.

This combination of elements was surrounded by two small branches of laurel with their buds tied with a tricolor ribbon. Around this ribbon, the whole armory of the country was depicted in strict order: cavalry, infantry, dragoons, artillery and bombardiers.

To complete the coat of arms, an indigenous man held it with his hands over his head, while sitting on an American cayman with one foot resting on the Horn of Plenty. The cayman had, in its jaws, the Lion of Castile, whose crown laid fallen on one side and was holding the ripped Spanish flag with its front paws.

External links

  • Sobre los verdaderos simbolos patrios de Chile
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