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The arms were granted on September 4th, 1591 by the Spanish Crown to Simon de Bolivar, sixth ancestor of El Libertador Simon Bolivar, the greatest national hero.
The early arms only show a brown lion rampant subjecting a golden scallop with a red St. James Cross inside, all on a silver ground. The arms were crowned by a five pointed crown.
The arms are canting, the official name of the city was Santiago de León de Caracas (Saint James of León of Caracas). The lion is canting for the León part, the scallop is the symbol of St. James and the cross is the cross of the (Spanish) Order of Santiago.
The additions around the shield were added on March 13, 1766.
The shield is surrounded by war trophies crossed in saltire at the back, and a motto "Ave Maria Santisima Sin Pecado Concebida en el Primer Instante de su Ser Natural" (Blessed most holy Mary conceived without guilt in the first instant of her natural being). The second motto above the arms with the official name of the city and its foundation year : "Santiago de Leon de Caracas - 1567"
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