Coat of arms of catalonia

Coat of arms of Catalonia
Arms of the Generalitat of Catalonia
Adopted 12th century
Crest Royal crown of Spain
Escutcheon Or, four pallets gules.

The Coat of arms of Catalonia is based on four red pallets on gold background which have been used since the Middle Ages on several coats of arms. Its origin is strongly related to that of the arms of the Crown of Aragon.

It is considered by heraldists and by the government of Catalonia to be originally the familiar arms of the Counts of Barcelona,[1][2][3] and it was adopted by the descendents of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona as Kings of Aragon.[1][4] Several authors strongly dispute the origin of coat and consider the arms to always have been those of the Kings of Aragon.[5]

It is one of the oldest coats of arms in Europe dating back in a seal of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona from 1150.[1][6][7][8]

Heraldic description

The blazon of the arms is: Or, four pallets of gules, ensigned with a royal crown.[9] In heraldry, the escutcheon is traditionally called as of the King of Aragon, although some medieval armories display the same arms also on the entry for the Count of Barcelona. Modernly called of Aragon [10] or of Barcelona.[11]

It has been described on the Middle Ages armorials as in "Armorial du Hérault Vermandois", 1285-1300,[12] as that of the King of Aragon, naming specifically Peter III as one of the bearers, is described as These are the arms of the Counts of Barcelona who acquired Aragón by marriage (...), the one of Count of Barcelona is the same or three pallets gules,[13] the arms of the King of Majorca are those of Aragon, with the coat of arms of James II, King of Majorca being or four pallets gules a bend azure [14] and the one of the King of Ternacle d Aragon et Ternacle en flanquiet lun dedans lautre (...) Per pale or four pallets gules and argent (...).[14] The coat of arms with the four red pales on a gold background appears on several other coats of arms, named as "of Aragon".[15] Also mentioned in Armorial de Gelre, 1370-1395, the coat of arms of Peter IV Die Coninc v. Arragoen is golden with four pallers of gulets (Barcelona) [16] or the Armorial d'Urfé, 1380, sont les armes de le Conte de Cathalogne, and in armorial de Charolais, 1425, arms conte de Barselongne and armorial Le Blanq (sources from 1420-1450) venant des contes de Barselone,[17] armorial Wijnbergen, King of Aragon or four pallets gules [18]


Originally it was the familiar emblem of the counts of Barcelona.[1][2][3] It was adopted by his descendents as Kings of Aragon, the main branch, Counts of Provence, Counts of Foix,[1] Judges of Arborea in Sardinia (party per saltire), Kings of Mallorques, Kings of Sicily (party per saltire).[4]

As a pre-heraldic symbol, the bars red and yellow was found on the Romanesque tombs of Barcelona’s Count Ramon Berenguer II Cap d’estopes, (†1082), and his great-grandmother Ermessenda, (†1058), wife of Count Ramon Borrell I,[19] both of whose tombs were at the portico of the old Romanesque Cathedral of Girona. The analysis of the painting showed that it coincided with paintings of the same times[20] and the pre-heraldic forms indicate pre-heraldic times, before the second Third of the 12th Century.[21]

The oldest seal where the arms can be seen is from 1150, in a seal of Raymond Berengar IV, Count of Barcelona.[1][6][7][8][22] The arms where inherited by all the three sons of Raymond Berengar, and they appear on the seal of Ramon Berenguer, count of Provence, from 1178, on the seal of Sanç, from 1180, and the oldest one, the seal of Alfons, the Chast, king of Aragon and count of Barcelona, from 1186. The seal evidence is disputed by some authors, who claim that the first documented evidence dates from the time of Alfonso II (king of Aragon and count of Barcelona) reign.[5]

The chronicle of the king Peter the Ceremonious, over 1359, say that the king-count Alfons, the chast, left the arms and signals of Aragon and took pales[23] and the genealogy of the kings ordered by the future king John I, on 1380, states that Raymond Berengar IV did not changed the comital arms.[24]

The Queen Maria de Luna, on 1396, in the Catalan Parliament stated that the arms of the County of Barcelona were "bars reds and yellows" and the King Martin I on 1406 stated that the Royal flag was the flag of the old Principality of Catalonia."

See also


  • Retrieved on 9 September 2007.
  • Retrieved on 9 September 2007.
  • Retrieved on 9 September 2007.
  • Retrieved on 9 September 2007.
  • Retrieved on 9 September 2007.

External links

  • "The Coat of Arms of Catalonia" by the Catalan Genealogical Society (Catalan)
  • "Kind of crown" by the Catalan Genealogical Society (Catalan)
  • "The Four Bars", from personal to territorial symbolism, illustrated article by Gabriel Bibiloni (Catalan)
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