National Arms of Guatemala

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Official blazon

Origin/meaning

Guatemala has no national arms, but uses the national emblem or symbol shown above. The emblem was adopted in 1871 and confirmed by law in 1968.

The National symbol shows the document with the declaration of Independence on September 15, 1821. The bird is the national bird, the quetzal. The guns are a symbol for the willingness of the population to defend its freedom and independence. The laurel branches are a symbol for the freedom.

The first national symbols were based on the arms of the Joined Central American Provinces, and show for Guatemala mainly the three volcanoes, taken from the arms of Guatemala City.


The arms from 1823

The arms from 1825

In 1843 the arms were changed and now showed a sun over the three volcanos.
In 1851 the arms were changed again, this time showing the three volcanoes and the sun in the upper part. In the lower part the arms show the flag (blue-white-blue) and the flag of ?, and a statue with the date of independence. The laurel branches also appear again.

The arms were finally changed again in 1858. Those arms were used until 1871.


The arms from 1843

The arms from 1851

The arms from 1858

The arms on coins:


The arms on a coin from 1829

The arms on a coin from 1861

The arms on a coin from 1912

The arms on a coin from 1954

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Literature : Pictures send by Fred Drews