The Costa Rica Coat of Arms or better known, Costa Rica National Emblem, enacted national symbol on September 29th, 1848 together with the current national flag, during the administration of Mr. José María Castro Madriz, President of the Republic.
It consists of a golden framework that represents the grain of gold (coffee). Within the framework there are three steaming green-blue volcanoes, symbolizing the three volcanoes and mountain ranges that cross over the country and a wide green clear valley between two blue oceans (Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, which bathes the shores of the west and east, respectively, like those of Central America). In each of these there are a merchant ship representing the country’s maritime history. On the horizon, left of the shield shows a rising old golden sun. Closed shield two palms myrtle united by a dark green ribbon with the inscription “Republic of Costa Rica” in gold letters. The seven stars of the silver arc represent the current provinces of the Republic. The auction is made clear that a blue ribbon serves as a crown with the legend Central America.
Originally had national flags on each side of the shield, a cornucopia and five stars, but in 1906, by Act number 18, on November 27th of that year, were removed the first two items and in 1964 added two more stars.
The emblem appears on the red stripe of the state and marine flags (with white background) and the civilian use is not listed, creating the national flag. Throughout its history, Costa Rica has had several coats of arm.
After their separation from Spain (1821), and because it was annexed in 1822 to the Mexican Empire of Agustín de Iturbide, the first coat of Costa Rica was the Mexico coat of arms, representing a crowned eagle with a snake in its beak. In March 1824, after joined the United Provinces of Central America, Costa Rica adopted the coat of arms decreed in 1823 by the National Constituent Assembly of Central America, in an equilateral triangle contained five volcanoes representing the five provinces and one federal Phrygian cap. The elements of these weapons are essentially the same as used today in the El Salvador and Nicaragua national emblem.
The United Provinces of Central America emblem was replaced by another slightly different at the end of 1824, after became the United Provinces into the Federal Republic of Central America. For its part, each of the states of the federation adopted a coat of arms itself. The Costa Rica one, adopted in 1825, represented the naked torso of a man in a circle surrounded by mountains.
The State of Costa Rica separated from the Federation in November 1838, continued using the flag and coat of arms promulgated on August 21st, 1823 until 1840, and the first national coat of arms was adopted on November 2nd, 1824. In 1840, the head of state Mr. Braulio Carrillo Colina ordered a new emblem to Costa Rica, which was the first as a sovereign and independent, which center had a radiant star. This coat of arms was abolished in 1842 by the government of Francisco Morazán Quesada and again used the naked torso decreed in 1825.
The weapons were substantially amended by Law No. 18 on November 27th, 1906 which abolished the war he had. The official model of the coat of arm developed at that time was beyond, and changed the shape of the emblem and also deleted the national flags and the horn of plenty that it had.
In 1964 it suffered a more significant change when added two more stars to complete seven stars, one for each province, since the original broadcast in 1848, Puntarenas was a district and Limón current territory was part of the province of Cartago. The 1964 Law provided further that instead of Coat of Arms it has to be used exclusively to National Emblem expression.
On May 5th, 1998, by Executive Decree No. 26853-SP, published in “La Gaceta” # 85, that day is adopted as the official National Emblem the design that is characterized by the three volcanoes in the center. The current one can be used by members of the Supreme Powers of the State, the Ambassadors of Costa Rica or the Country’s Diplomatic Representatives and Consuls.