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Costa Rica - Coat of Arms

Last modified: 2003-08-16 by dov gutterman
Keywords: costa rica |
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by Jaume Ollé and Antonio Martins, 5 November 2001
(For the former 5-stars version produced by Fred Drews, click here)

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Coat of arms

Costa Rica CoA has REPUBLICA DE COSTA RICA in a scroll in chief of the shield and AMERICA CENTRAL in a circular scroll above the shield.
Ivan Sache , 11 September 1999

From <>:
"National Seal
- It was created in 1848, under the presidency of Jose Maria Castro Madriz. The original seal went through two important changes. In 1906, war symbols were removed as a response to Costa Rican's tradition for peace. Another change occurred in 1964, when two more stars were added as to represent the newly incorporated provinces. Today, the national seal shows seven stars, one for each province, three volcanoes representing the country's three mountain ranges, and two merchant ships. There is a rising sun at the horizon between the blue sky and the blue ocean."
Dov Gutterman, 17 November 1998

Rabbow, in DTV-Lexicon politischer Symbole, 1970, states: 'Till 23 Oct 1964 there were five stars, reminding of the five Central American countries. The number changed to seven to represent the seven provinces of Costa Rica.'
In fact the 5 stars stood for the five member-states of the United States of Central America, after Honduras withdrew from it in 1838. The union was dissolved in 1839, but the union-flag and CoA still plays an important role in these countries. So the 5 stars were for: Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Source: Kannik, Vlaggen, Standaarden en Wapens, c. 1959
Jarig Bakker, 20 March 2001

When president Jose Maria Castro Madriz adopted the CoA of Costa Rica (29, September, 1848), there were 5 provinces. Other two were added in the end of XIX c. The state of Panama was created in 1903, but the costa-rican CoA created in 1848. I think 5 stars means - 5 provinces of 1848 and 5 countries: Costa Rica, HONDURAS, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Victor Lomantsov, 20 March 2001

Panama was never part of Central America. The five stars stood for the members of the United Provinces of Central America, which were Costa Rica, (El)Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua. Panama was a part of Columbia.
One of many sources: Kannik, Das farbige Flaggenlexikon, 1958 (German edition of Alverdens Flag i Fraver, 1956).
Ralf Stelter, 21 March 2001

According to what I read, the symbolism of the five stars was forgotten for many years. Puntarenas and Limon were created provinces in 7 july 1909 and before they were not provinces but regions (level a bit lower that province). In 1909 the meaning of stars was fully forgotten and when arms were slighty modifies in 13 june 1934, the five stars remained unchanged. only in 1964 two stars were added.
Jaume Olle, 22 March 2001

At Album 2000 [pay00]: Coat of Arms - Figure provides detail from the state flag - the coat of arms together with the white oval in background. There are some differencies from the image posted by Jaume, but these are rather minor, I guess.
Zeljko Heimer, 1 june 2001