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Bolivian national coat of arms and emblems

Last modified: 2020-12-26 by rob raeside
Keywords: coat of arms (bordure) | coat of arms: landscape | coat of arms: mountain | law |
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CoA of Bolivia image by António Martins, 18 August 2005
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The Bolvian State flag includes the coat of arms.
Kristian Söderberg 04 May 2003


The official arms has a oval border, yellow in the upper part with caption "Republica Boliviana" (red, also known with caption "Bolivia"), and blue in the lower part with six five pointed yellow stars. In centre is a llama of Andes, an alpaca, a small Andean house (not quoted in the law), a palm, a sun, a mountain (the Potosí), a prairie and a sheaf of wheat. The background must be white in the upper part and green in the lower part.
Jaume Ollé, 11 June 1999

The coat of Arms of Bolivia has now 10 stars, for all departments, including the lost maritime one.
Armand du Payrat, 10 February 1999

In Webster’s Concise Encyclopedia of Flags, 1985 [mch85a]:

The arms consist of an oval shield depicting a landscape with a stylized illustration of Mount Potosi in bright sunshine and, in the foreground, a South American alpaca, a breadfruit tree, and a wheat sheaf, with a forest and a house in the middle distance. The upper golden border of the oval bears the name of the country BOLIVIA in red letters, and the lower blue border is charged with nine gold five-pointed stars representing the departments of the country. Behind the oval there are two crossed cannon barrels, six Bolivian flags, four rifles, a Phrygian cap of liberty, an Inca battle-axe and a laurel wreath; perched on the oval shield is an Andean condor.
Jarig Bakker, 13 February 2000

In Webster’s New International Dictionary of ca. 1920 [wbs24], I found the a Coat of Arms: Mountain to the right and two hills to the left. To the right of the mountain is a tree. Left under the hill is an alpaca in red (running colors). Left to the top of the mountain is a golden sun on a sky-blue field. The shield is surrounded by a band; upper half is in gold with black inscription "BOLIVIA"; lower half in light blue with nine 5-pointed stars. Left and right to the shield are hanging flags (red, yellow and green). On top of the shield is a bird, which looks very much like a red-brown eagle. (Wings are comparably too short for a condor).
Jarig Bakker, 25 June 1999


A very interesting website shows a gallery with all the coats of arms from 1825 to 1968. In total, 69 coats of arms in a period of 143 years. I believe that’s a true record! (However possibly not all of them national coats of arms but also State Arms.
Estebán Rivera, 07 October 2006

Calderón & Cortéz [a2d01] says that:

  • the first Bolivian coat of arms was adopted in 1825 and had five stars representing the five departments forming the Bolivar Republic (as it was called back then): Chuquisaca, La Paz, Potosí, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.
  • In 1826 new arms were adopted forming the basis for the present arms. These had six stars, a star for Oruro was added.
  • These arms were revised in 1851, these had nine stars with stars added for Litoral (created in 1829), Tarija (created 1831) and Beni (created 1842).
  • In 1867 a tenth star was added for the department of Tarata, created out of Cochabamba.
  • In 1868 an eleventh star was added because the department of La Paz was split in two, one retaining the name of La Paz, the other becoming the department of Mejillones.
  • In 1871 the arms returned to nine stars; probably the departmental changes were undone.
  • In 1888 the present form of the arms were adopted, with nine stars (so the loss of Litoral was not reflected in the arms).
  • And in 1961 a tenth star was added for Pando (created 1938).

Mark Sensen, 11 March 2002

The tenth star was added to the coat of arms in times of president Gral. René Barrientos Ortuño (1966-1969). It was pretension of Bolivia to seaside department of Litoral lost in war of 1879. Source: Velásquez, 1983 [vzz83].
Victor Lomantsov, 09 March 2002

The book [smi80] still shows the 9-star version (on blue disc).
Željko Heimer, 11 March 2001

A star was added to the national coat of arms in 1961 to represent the department of Pando. From Luis Eduardo Arce Cortéz & Ivette Durán Calderón’s Tratado internacional de vexilología y manual cívico del Boliviano [a2d01]:

Ley del 10 Noviembre de 1961
Escudo de Armas

Añádase una estrella en representación simbólica de la creación del Departamento de Pando

Víctor Paz Estanssoro
Presidente Constiticional de la Républica

Por cuanto el H. Congreso Nacional ha sancionado la siguiente ley:

El Congreso Nacional decreta:

Art. único.- Agrégase al Escudo de Armas de la Nación, una estrella más en representación simbólica de la creación del departamento de Pando. Comuníquese al Ejecutivo para los finos consuguintes.
Sala de Sesiones del H. Congreso Nacional
La Paz, 26 de octubre de 1961.

Mark Sensen, 09 March 2002

Coat of arms of 1825-1826

CoA of Bolivia in 1825 image by André Godinho, 20 July 2003

According to an official Historia de la Bandera Boliviana [b9oXX], these are the national arms as adopted on 17 August 1825 (but not used on the flag) which were, in any case, replaced in 1826.
Christopher Southworth, 20 July 2003