Coat o airms o Venezuela
The coat o airms wis established in the Law o the Naitional Banner, Shield an Anthem (Ley de Bandera, Escudo e Himno Nacionales), passed on Februar 17, 1954 bi the military govrenor o Venezuela, Marcos Pérez Jiménez. The shield is dividit in the colors o the Naitional Banner. In the dexter chief, on a reid field, wheat represents the union o the 20 States o the Republic existin at the time an the weel o the Naition. In sinister chief, on a yellae field, weapons (a swuird, a sabre an three lances) an twa Naitional Banners are tied bi a branch o laurel, as a seembol o triumph in war. In base, on a deep blue field, a wild white horse (perhaps representin Simón Bolívar's white horse Palomo) runs free, an emblem o unthirldom an freedom.
Abuin the shield are twa crossed cornucopias (horns o plenty), pourin oot wealth. The shield is flanked bi an olive branch an anither o palm, baith tied at the bottom o the coat wi a lairge baund that represents the naitional tricolour (yellow for the naition's wealth, blue for the ocean separatin Venezuela frae Spain, an reid for the bluid an courage o the fowk). The follaein captions appear in gowden letters on the blue stripe:
|19 de Abril de 1810 (Aprile 19, 1810)||20 de Febrero de 1859 (February 20, 1859)|
|Independencia (Unthirldom)||Federación (Federation)|
|República de Venezuela (Republic o Venezuela)|
In Mairch 2006 the Naitional Assembly approved chynges tae the coat o airms an the banner, which wur made offeecial on Mairch 12, 2006, coincidin wi Banner Day. Prior tae 2006, the horse wis runnin tae the sinister side o the shield wi its heid turned tae the dexter (tae the viewer, this appears as the horse gallopin towards his richt an leukin back tae the left). In heraldic practice, ainimals an beasts are tae appear facin tae the dexter, which is considered the naitural an honourable poseetion. The Economist observed that Hugo Chávez ordered the seal chynged efter his daughter, Rosinés Chávez Rodríguez, haed describit the previous horse as "leukin backwards". Govrenment supporters state, housomeivver, that even if the preses' dochter wis the ane who sparked the discussion, baith the legislative an executive branch agreed tae add a machete as a seembol representin the peasant fechters durin the revolutionary wars in Venezuela syne the War o Unthirldom, a bow an an arrae as a retribution tae the brave indigenous population who resistit the Spainyie conquistadors.
Mony critics hae suggestit that the horse, nou runnin tae the dexter (tae the viewer's left) is a poleetical statement o the current left-wing govrenment o Preses Hugo Chávez. Previously in the Venezuelan airms adoptit in 1863, the horse wis movin as it is seen the day, tae the dexter (the viewer's left). An aa tae note is that in heraldry, poseetions are no describit frae the viewer's pynt o view, but rather the shield's, sae while the horse appears tae be gallopin left tae ane observin the airms, the horse is actually gallopin tae the dexter, or richt, side o the shield.
Poleetical opponents hae an aa claimed that in addition tae bein poleetically motivatit, the chynges wur economically wasteful. At the time o the offeecial unveilin, the opposition pairty statit that thay will no uise the new banner or coat o airms, but retain the auld an employ them in demonstrations against the govrenment. Housomeivver, bi 2008, an wi a slichtly improved poleetical climate, the new coat o airms an banner hae been generally acceptit amang the population an opposition.
- The Economist, "Freedom to Agree", February 24, 2007
In heraldic descriptions dexter means richt frae the viewpoint o a person staundin ahint the shield, i.e. the viewer's left; sinister means left, i.e. the viewer's richt.
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