Last modified: 2021-08-25 by rob raeside
Keywords: guatemala | quetzal | laurel |
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inscription: "15 de Setiembre"
by Željko Heimer, 19 October 2001
inscription: "15 de Septiembre"
by Željko Heimer, 21 October 2001
The Flag Bulletin #184 says that on 26 December 1997
the spelling on the arms was altered from SETIEMBRE to SEPTIEMBRE.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 14 March 1999
According to my sources, the branches (coffee?) surrounding
the arms should bear four red berries each.
Ivan Sache, 4 April 1999
My sources show no berries. Can someone else confirm Ivan's
info? And tell me where these berries would be placed if it gets
Jorge Candeias, 5 April 1999
I can at least give my sources: Album des Pavillons, DK
Pocket Book, Pedersen
and Smith all show these berries. And I just discovered
there were not four, but five berries per branch. It's rather
difficult to describe their location, this would need a detailed
botanical description of a coffee branch. One berry is located at
the lowest node. For the other, let us count the
"voids" (only the big ones) between successive leaves,
beginning at the top of the branch; first berry fits in
"void" number 3, second berry in "void"
number 5, third berry in "void" number 6, and fourth
berry in "void" number 13.
Ivan Sache, 5 April 1999
I can't confirm or deny Ivan's info, however, in Pedersen,
1971 English edition, there do appear to be beans at the base of
the major leaf groups, but in mixed numbers, usually pairs. The
bird is like a parrot (Pedersen describes it as "a
quetzal, the 'bird of freedom', derived from a local Indian
legend") with the head turned back over its left
Michael Smuda, 5 April 1999
That's very different from all other Guatemalan emblems I've
seen so far, that look just like my image. I suspect that either
it is a wrong depiction (the "parrot" makes me wonder -
see below) or an early version. The quetzal is a real bird that
lives in the forests of Central America. It was considered sacred
by the pre-colombian civilizations, and the priest that
"incarnated" the god Quetzalcoatl wore it's
feathers. The depictions of the bird in the Guatemalan symbol
I've seen so far show the real bird in the position I depicted
it. Anyone knows of changes or standartization of the Guatemalan
symbol since 1971?
Jorge Candeias, 6 April 1999
The image sent by Michael is pretty much like the one shown by
Kannik. He says it is from 1871,
and based on the emblem (he says arms) from 1843. He has no blue
oval and no background colour, though. According to Pedersen, 1979, the emblem was
changed at 9 September 1968 to the one sent by Jorge. Pedersen
has a light blue background in the emblem, (symbolizing fantasy),
but not when it is in the flag. Pedersen mentions 18 November
1871 for the older emblem. Pedersen shows many berries, by the
way. I counted 14 on each branch. He also has a light yellow tone
in the scroll.
Ole Andersen, 8 April 1999
All Guatemala's Coat of Arms on the web, got no berries at
all. All the official sites uses the same image. Example is at:
Unofficial sites uses a better Coat of Arms. Example at <www.geocities.com/6886>.
The best one (see here) and info
in spanish are at <www.mdngt.org>.
Dov Gutterman, 9 April 1999
Ole reported already 14 berries per branch, and from Pederson
and FTAAATW I can confirm that (about 14, the images are very dim
and the berries very small). The position of the berries are
mostly against the branch, not on it, as you giffed them. They
are at irregular intervals, a bit winding around the branch. The
background of the Coat of Arms is definitely lightblue. BTW the
branches are laurel-branches. Laurels have black or darkblue
berries naturally, but the Guatemaltec brand is red.
Jarig Bakker, 9 April 1999
Kannik ('56) has no background for the emblem, but he has 22
berries (of which two lack colour - certainly an error).
Pedersen ('79) has the emblem on a light blue circular background. He has 28 berries.
The DK book ('98) has no background, and 10 berries. The background is omitted in the flag
Ole Andersen, 12 April 1999
It looks like the presence or absence of these berries and
their number if present is not regulated, varying from rendition
to rendition.All the newer renditions of the Coat of Arms that
I've seen show no berries at all. See also <www.quetzalnet.com>.
Jorge Candeias, 22 May 1999
The Guatemala Coat of Arms has no berries, thats because these
are not coffee branches, in fact they never were. The branches
are from the Laurel Tree, I dont know it is called in english,
but the scientific name is: Cordia aliodora. The meaning of these
branches is related with the greeks, because in that time the
best warrior was recognized in public by wearing a laurel barnch
crown. So the laurel branch are a symbol of recognition
for the courage and bravery of the guatemalan people.
Alberto Solano Roca , 10 May 2000
Earlier this year I had to redraw my image of the Guatemalan
arms, which you can see at <www.flags.net>. If
you look very closely at the details of the arms you will see
that there are small red berries on the branches. This image was
created from the official rendition of the arms as supplied to me
by Alfred Znamierowski.
Graham Bartram, 10 May 2000
The inscription was changed several years ago from "15 de
Setiembre" to "15 de Septiembre".
Marcus Schmöger, 20 October 2001
Željko Heimer asked if a blue disc on the background
is part of the Coat of Arms. We had come to the conclusion, based
on some official websites, that the blue disc is indeed an
integral part of the coat-of-arms, even if it appears on it's own
Jorge Candeias, 21 October 2001
The month on the scroll was changed from SETIEMBRE to
SEPTIEMBRE by Article 5 of Decree No.104 of 26 September
1997, The remaining Articles are a repeat of Decree No. 12
of 12 September 1968.
Incidentally, Guatemala never officially adopted the rolling-block Remington (mentioned in Article 4) - although a number are known to have been purchased by the Government and issued to the army. Among my (modest) collection of old rifles is a Remington of the Spanish 1871 pattern, and when doing a specification for the flag I found copying the gun was rather easier than trying to copy the official model. (From the Flag Institute archives - translated by Dr Whitney Smith).
Christopher Southworth, 15 March 2003
Some times the branches are tied with a ribbon at the bottom,
but this is forbidden now by legislation. In the Congress Sesions
Room, at the back, on the top of the President, there is a Coat
of Arms, with a ribbon (and light blue background as beforethe
legislation). It is historic and it will not be changed.
Mario Soto, 8 March 2004