While most genealogists in North America understand there's no such thing as a family coat of arms, many of us are not as aware of the traditions involving coats of arms for governments, various government agencies, and even corporations. That would be especially true for coats of arms issued 500 years ago and still in use today.
Puerto Rico's Coat of Arms was granted by the Spanish Crown in 1511, which makes it the oldest currently used in the Americas.
This coat of arms was officially recognized by King Fernando of Spain and was officially granted to the government of Puerto Rico in November of 1511. The 500th anniversary is about to be celebrated.
You can read more about the coat of arms at http://www.topuertorico.org/reference/escudo.shtml.
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