Two years after General Franco's death and King John Charles I's accession to the throne (22 November 1975), a new coat of arms was approved by Decree of 21 January 1977, which replaced the coat of arms adopted on 11 October 1945. The main modifications in the design were:
The eagle is blazoned as azorada ("rising", about to start flight, with slightly displayed wings) instead of pasmada ("closed", with closed, vertical wings).
The motto's ribbon surrounds the nimbus (the yellow disc behind the eagle's head) around the top, instead of passing beneath it and behind the neck.
The nimbus is smaller, so that the eagle's beak partially protrudes out of it.
The Pillars of Hercules are moved onto the eagle's wings; the pillar capitals and bases are changed to gold.
The eagle's claws held the coat of arms by mid-height (fess), instead of 3/4ths (base).
The red ribbons around the yoke and the arrows are given the shapes of classical letters "F" (for Catholic King, Ferdinand II of Aragón) and "Y" (for his wife Queen Elizabeth - Ysabel in old Spanish spelling - I of Castile).