Official Coat of Arms of Baracoa
On 14th November 1837, the town council requested a coat of arms from Her Majesty the Queen of Spain Maria Cristina de Habsburgo y Lorena. This was granted on the grounds of Baracoa’s being the first settlement to be founded and to have a town council and church. Not only did it receive a coat of arms, but also the official title of ‘Very Faithful’, the grant for which arrived with the heraldic design.
The date of the decree was 20th September 1838 but it was not until 20th December that the news was received. In 1919 the design was carved in hardwood by Quintiliano Ulloa.
Each part of the coat of arms with its significance:
Superior part: crown of Castile, having the Christian cross above it
Upper left quadrant – a dog, sign of faithfulness, with the torch of civilization in its mouth
Upper right quadrant – coconut palm, which represents local flora.
Lower left quadrant – the port of Las Palmas, the Yunque and the town, representing the first settlement and a useful landmark for the sailors
Lower right quadrant – a caravel, the ship in which Diego Velásquez arrived to colonise Cuba
Around the shield a ribbon which has written on it in Latin OMNIUM CUBE EXIGUA TAMENT SI TEMPORE PRIMAS FERENS, meaning ALTHOUGH IT IS THE SMALLEST CITY OF CUBA IT WILL ALWAYS BE THE FIRST.
In the museum in the Matachín Fortress one may still see the original coat of arms which was carved in 1919.