The Cuban coat of arms, known as the “Escudo Nacional de Cuba” in Spanish, features various symbols that represent the history, culture, and aspirations of the country. It consists of several elements:
1. A shield: The shield is divided into three horizontal sections. The top section represents the sky and features a golden key, representing Cuba as the “Key to the Gulf of Mexico.” The middle section represents land and depicts three blue stripes, symbolizing the three former administrative divisions of Cuba: Occidente, Centro, and Oriente. The bottom section represents the sea and shows a silver ship sailing over blue waves.
2. A wreath: Surrounding the shield is a wreath made of oak and laurel branches, symbolizing strength and victory.
3. A Phrygian cap: Placed atop the shield, the Phrygian cap, a symbol of liberty, represents the country’s struggle for independence.
4. A Maltese cross: Positioned on the shield’s top left side, the Maltese cross alludes to the courage and dedication of the Knights Hospitaller, whose principles align with Cuban aspirations for justice and compassion.