Coats of Arms in Buenos Aires

Almost as common as the ubiquitous Argentinian flag, the National Coat of Arms can be seen all over Buenos Aires, especially on government and official buildings.

Argentine Coat of Arms

Argentine Coat of Arms, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes

The Coat of Arms (or Escudo de la Rep├║blica Argentina to give its correct title) exists in its current version since 1944 but has its roots in pre-independence Argentina and revolutionary France. Rising at the top is the rising Sun of May, also found in the centre of the national flag, representing the rising of the Argentine nation.

Argentine Coat of Arms

Argentine Coat of Arms, La Casa Rosada

Inside the oval there are two hands shaking, standing for the unity of the provinces. They come together to hold a pike representing their willingness to defend freedom, which in turn is shown by the Phrygian cap on its tip. The cap, worn by freed slaves in Ancient Rome has been a symbol of liberty since the end of the 18th Century when it was adopted by the French as their revolutionary icon. It can be found on the flags of many Latin American countries including Bolivia and Colombia, the state flags of New York and New Jersey and the seal of the US Senate.

Door detail, Congreso Nacional

Door detail, Congreso Nacional

The more eagle-eyed amongst you might also spot the Coat of Arms of the City of Buenos Aires as you move around the city. Not as common as its national cousin, it features 2 ships, a dove and an anchor.

Buenos Aires City Coat of Arms

Buenos Aires City Coat of Arms

The two ships refer to the two foundings of the city, the first in 1536 by Pedro de Mendoza and the second by Juan de Garay in 1580 (the first settlement lasted only 5 years, but did give us the name Buenos Aires). The anchor represents the status of Buenos Aires as a port and the protection given by the Holy Spirit is shown in the dove.

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