Coat of Arms of Portugal

The national coat of arms of Portugal is a symbol of the country’s rich history and culture. It features a shield with several elements that represent different aspects of Portugal’s identity, including its history, religion, and geography. The coat of arms is primarily colored in red and gold, which are the traditional colors of Portugal.

The shield is divided into four quadrants, each of which contains a different symbol. The first quadrant features five blue shields arranged in a cross pattern, which represents the five wounds of Christ. This symbol is a nod to Portugal’s strong Catholic heritage and its role in the Age of Discovery, during which Portuguese explorers spread Christianity to new parts of the world.

The second quadrant features a golden armillary sphere on a blue background. The armillary sphere was a navigational instrument used by Portuguese explorers during the Age of Discovery, and it represents Portugal’s history as a seafaring nation. The sphere is made up of rings that represent the celestial spheres, and it is topped with a cross, which represents Portugal’s Catholic faith.

The third quadrant features two silver stripes on a red background. These stripes represent the Kingdom of León, which was a medieval Christian kingdom that was located in what is now northwestern Spain and northern Portugal. The stripes are a reminder of Portugal’s long history of conflict and cooperation with its neighbor to the east.

The fourth quadrant features a white shield with five blue escutcheons arranged in a cross pattern. This symbol is known as the Quinas, and it represents Portugal’s royal heritage. The Quinas were the personal coat of arms of King Afonso Henriques, who founded the Kingdom of Portugal in 1139. The five escutcheons represent the victories of King Afonso over five Moorish kings during the Battle of Ourique in 1139.

Above the shield is a golden armillary sphere, which is a symbol of Portugal’s maritime history. The sphere is topped with a green scroll that reads “Esta é a ditosa pátria minha amada” (“This is my beloved blessed homeland”), which is a line from a poem by Luís de Camões, one of Portugal’s most famous poets. The scroll is held in place by two golden dragons, which represent Portugal’s power and strength.

The coat of arms of Portugal has a long and complex history. The shield itself has been used in various forms since the 12th century, and it has undergone several changes over the years. The current version of the coat of arms was adopted in 1911, after the overthrow of the Portuguese monarchy and the establishment of the First Portuguese Republic.

Overall, the national coat of arms of Portugal is a powerful symbol of the country’s identity and heritage. It represents Portugal’s Catholic faith, its history as a seafaring nation, its long-standing relationship with Spain, and its royal heritage. The coat of arms is a reminder of Portugal’s rich history and culture, and it continues to be an important symbol of national pride and identity.

Image Source: Coat of Arms, Public domain, Wikimedia Commons

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