Mendoza Shield: History And Meaning

The Mendoza coat of arms is blue and light blue, it was adopted in 1941 and has a meaning of equality, freedom, glory and prosperity. 
Mendoza is a province of the Argentine Republic that marks the border with Chile through the Andes mountain range.

It is the seventh province with the most territory in all of Argentina and the fourth province with the largest amount of population. 
It is one of the provinces through which National Route 7 passes, a highway that runs from the Chile-Argentina border to the Chile-Uruguay border.

Mendoza national coat of arms

The province of Mendoza is characterized by its cultivation of grapes that result in the best Argentine wines. 
Each province to be able to distinguish itself from another, must have a flag and a provincial shield.

What is the meaning of the Mendoza coat of arms?

There are several elements that make up the shield used today, each one has a different meaning for which each province has shields with meanings that characterize them.

Colors

The colors are two, sky blue and white. They are the same used in the flag of Argentina and in the national shield.

Blue represents brotherhood, justice, truth and loyalty; while white represents purity, steadfastness, obedience, faith, and integrity.

Laurels

It comes from Greek mythology and symbolizes glory and success.

Phrygian cap

They represent equality and freedom.

The handshake

It means the union of the people.

The pike

It reflects the firmness of the province.

The cornucopia

They represent abundance and in this case, full of grapes, it reflects the largest crop in the province.

Tape

Represents the flag of the Argentine Republic.

Rising sun of may

The sun represents prosperity and each ray represents the subdivisions of the province.

History of the various shields of the province of Mendoza

The province of Mendoza, has had to go through several changes of shields since its foundation.

The various types of shields have been created and modified over time, by the changes of governments from the independence process to the shield that represents Mendoza today.

Although the city of Mendoza was founded in 1561, it was located in the Cuyo region together with other cities that are now also provinces. For this and other reasons, the Mendoza coat of arms first appeared in the 1800s.

It was the royal shield, the shield of the Spanish crown in Argentina at that time. Of a bright red color and with the symbols of the monarchy, such as the lion.

Mendoza’s first coat of arms, called the first provincial coat of arms, emerged in 1819 and was made up of a branch that was crossed by an ear of wheat, framed in an oval shape.

These marked the two primary industries of the province for that time. The branch gives as a record that the cultivation of grapes has been one of the main commercial activities of Mendoza for centuries.

Coat of Arms Patrias and Epoca de Rosas

In the 1820s, General Juan Manuel de Rosas gained political power in Argentine territory. There were disagreements between the laws that the republic’s provinces would adopt and there were unsuccessful attempts to institutionalize a central power for all of them.

General Rosas at that time, took command to create the Argentine Confederation. This would be the union of several provinces and Mendoza would be part of them.

In 1834, Mendoza adopted the National Arms coat of arms. In the oval shape the hands are intertwined and dressed, with the May sun at the top but not ringing, the pike with the Phrygian cap resting on a mountain and at the bottom of the shield you can see bayonets, spears, a bugle, flags and a saber. 

It had as an inscription: Mendoza’s gratitude to General Rosas.

This shield prevailed until March 18, 1852, after the defeat of Rosas in the Battle of Caseros and his resignation from the government of Buenos Aires on February 3 of that same year.

Two years later, the provincial coat of arms was used but adding lances, cannons and flag trophies until 1861.

National Shield and Shield of the Province of 1864:

On December 18, 1862, the unchanged national coat of arms became the coat of arms of the province of Mendoza. 

In 1864, they wanted to make modifications and additions to give it some distinction between the provinces. Maintaining the national coat of arms as a base, the province coat of arms was created in 1864.

Based on the national shield, the May sun is stamped, hands intertwined without clothing with a pike crowned by the Phrygian cap, surrounded by the shield with laurel wreaths. Adding as a characteristic of Mendoza two cornucopias or horns of abundance, full of fruits and flowers.

This shield was used until 1941 where it underwent a small modification. It is the longest-lasting shield in the province of Mendoza as it lasted more than 70 years.

Coat of arms of 1941 and Law No. 1450

On October 25, 1941, Law No. 1450 was enacted, which was approved on October 30 of that same year. This law promulgates a new shield very similar to the one from 1864 but a change is added, the decision was made by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies of the Province of Mendoza.

The two horns of plenty of the old shield became only one, to be able to adapt to the legend that originated the meaning of the horn of plenty, since the Senate, based on this legend, concluded that showing two cornucopies was an error.

This legend originates from Greek mythology, the god Zeus when he was little was fed by the milk of the goat Amalthea.

While the boy was playing he broke one of the goat’s horns with lightning, unintentionally. Seeing what happened, Zeus returned the horn to Amalthea full of fruits and flowers and gave her the power to give whoever possessed it everything they wanted.

That is why the provincial coat of arms happens to have a single cornucopia, full of its largest crop, grapes.

References

  1. Gregoric, F (2008) Mendoza Province (Argentina) Extracted from crwflags.com.
  2. History of the shield of the province of Mendoza. Extracted from tyhturismo.com.
  3. Mendoza Province. Extracted from argentour.com.
  4. Malburgh, S (2013) A look into Cornucopia History: The meaning behind the horn of plenty. Extracted from brighthubeducation.com.

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