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Colima Coat of Arms

Also called a "Shield" or "Escudo")

Coat of Arms - Common Coat of Arms - Version 1 Coat of Arms - Version 2
Most common in a web search. Version 1 Version 2

Colima was never granted a coat of arms so, recently, the state government adopted one, with the characteristics of the land. When researching the coat of arms there were three different versions that appeared in internet searches. While similar, they have differences with some more subtle than others.

A description of the shield is as follows:

"A Mayan hieroglyph (see meaning below) proper, bordure gules; Helmut azure with penache sable; supporters, two pumas issuant and sitting on a sable, each holding a sinister flowering branch with coiled snake and conch seashell; compartment a volcano sable with a flower; a scroll reading in two lines of serif capitals sable "EL TEMPLE DEL BRAZO ES VIGOR EN LA TIERRA", with "DE" digraph and "O" reduced to superscript underscored, loosely "THE NERVE OF THE ARM IS FORCE ON EARTH".

You will notice the major focal point is the hand and shoulder in the center of the shield. This is the same hieroglyph that appears in the Nahualt script with a blue bracelet on the wrist. If you look closely you will see the hand and the arm don't belong together. Note the hand has the thumb pointing down. Try it yourself, it is pretty much impossible to get your arm & hand to look like that. No one has a proper explanation for why it appears this way.

There are several variations or interpretations of the original language, these include:

  1. The coat of arms bears a hieroglyph (a picture with special meaning) in the form of an arm. For the state's early inhabitants (Náhuatl), the arm represented the power of one person over all others. This authority essentially fell to the elders, who were greatly respected and obeyed. The coat of arms therefore symbolizes the strength of the people of Colima to improve their living conditions.
  2. Tradition holds that the name Colima derives from the name of a warrior and King, Coliman, who governed these lands many years ago. He was a brave man who organized regional inhabitants in order to defend their land against the Conquistadors. The word Coliman is made up of two Náhuatl words; Colli, which means hill, volcano or grandfather; and Maitl, which means place, domain or government. Together, these words mean the place where the fire god, or the old god, has his domain and which was conquered by our ancestors.
  3. Many historians say this symbol is correct and the interpretation should be: Collima derives from "colli", meaning "hill", "volcano" and "ma" from "maitl", hand, meaning place, dominium. Together they say "Place where the Fire God / Old God dominates and which was conquered by our ancestors".
  4. Colima, a Nahuatl origin word, where "Col" means radical colli grandfather meaning his "ma" as radical Maitla hand resulting in: "place is in the hands of his grandfather, where grandfather could be read as the volcano" or "the place is in the hands of the ancestors".
  5. A bent arm, twisted by hand and water in the shoulder, which now appears on the shield of the state, suggests the composition 'a', radical atl meaning water, 'colli' meaning arm, and the locative 'man', that is read Acoliman therefore is the "place where the water turns" or "in the bend of the river." The coat of arms of the State of Colima is prehispanic modern times, symbolizing its history, geography, flora and fauna, has the following interpretation heraldry.

The most common version of the shield in internet research was the one above labeled as "most common". You will notice this version drops the intricate detail on the sides compared to the other two. Version 1 has a better rendering of the volcanoes and the jaguar's are spotted. The snakes at the top on the sides are not as visible. Version 2 has a blue helmet at the top, the rendering of the volcanoes isn't as distinct as Version 1, the jaguars are solid in color and the conch shells are not as distinct looking. The snakes are more visible at the tops of the side foliage.

From an Internet Description of the Shield:

At the top, helmet with crest of feathers. To the sides of the obelisk lambrequins snakes tangled that end in brackets with a jaguar resting on conch snails (marine). Between the two jaguars a palm tree and Colima volcanoes. At the bottom reads the slogan on a gold ribbon ARM IS THE TEMPLE OF FORCE ON EARTH. His metals, enamels and colors also have meaning: Silver symbolizes the water, faith, purity and integrity; gold represents the fire of volcanoes, love of neighbor, the nobility and generosity; the red embroidery, alludes to the warm climate of Colima, strength, value, loyalty, joy and honor.
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