Until the 1813 Assembly ordered the seal that itself and the Executive Power
should have, all the governmental acts were legalized with the same royal weapons,
used during the viceroyalty. There are testimonies that in 1811 and 1812 -when it
was necessary- new royal seals were done, or the deteriorated ones were fixed.
The usage of the royal weapons for such cases, could be seen in the official
documents, since the First Junta was installed in 1810, until 1813, when they
were replaced by the Assembly ones. Before the Revolución de Mayo (May Revolution),
and during many years after that, it was always Juan de Dios Rivera who made the new
seals, or repaired the ones that the constant use left in bad conditions.
The Constituent General Assembly was formed on January 31st, 1813, and although
there is no law or decree stating it, a few days afterwards, it began to use
(in its documents) the seal that is today our national coat of arms. This
could be affirmed, because two letters of citizenship that were issued by the
assembly, dated on February 22nd of that year, in which that seal stamped in
sealing wax appears for the first time, still exist. One of them is kept in
the National Historic Museum, extended in favor of don Antonio Olavarría,
and is signed by the president of the Corps, General Alvear, and by Secretary
Vieytes. There is no law or decree that time proving that the same design of
that seal should be the national coat of arms, but due to governmental concordant
dispositions, it became Argentina's coat of arms; governments and populations
adopted it, although no official sanction imposed it, the usage confirmed it by itself.
On March 13th, 1813, the first official mention about the seal appears.
"The Assembly Writer" says in that day´s session: "A motion made by one of
the representatives on this day, in order that it could be appointed for the
Supreme Executive Power the seal that it should use in its diplomas and official
replies, the following was agreed by unanimity: DECREE The Constituent General
Assembly orders that the Supreme Executive Power uses the same seal of this
Sovereign Corps, with the only difference that the inscription of the Circle
should be "Supreme Executive Power of the Río de la Plata United Provinces".
TOMAS VALLE - President HIPOLITO VIEYTES - Deputy Secretary With regard to the
drawing, it is completely ignored who made it and who had the idea of using
badges that in group represent glory, union and freedom, enlightened by the rising
As time went by, the coat of arms was subject to alterations that began
with the provisions of the same Assembly with regard to the elimination of the rising
sun and to the addition of military trophies. Others a posteriori, performed in seals
of documents and in engraving of publications consisted in putting "angel face" to the
sun, altering the number of its rays, increasing the number of flags, varying the
ellipsis proportions, modifying the shape and the inclination of the freedom cap,
and others. All of this made it necessary to rule it.
Some provissions of the National
Executive Power tried to correct the lack of uniformity and the whimsical modifications.
That was fulfilled with Decree N 10.302, issued in Ministers' General Agreement, on April
As regards its symbolism, it is considered that the human forearms that shake
their right hands in the inferior frame, represent the union of the populations of the Río
de la Plata United Provinces.
The Phrygian cap is an old freedom symbolism and the pike
(short lance) evidences the aim of defending it up, if necessary, with the weapons.
The sun, in its rising position, announced the appearance of a new Nation to the world.
The laurels are heraldic symbols of victory and triumph, and they are evidence of the
victories already obtained in Suipacha and Tucumán.
With regard to the ribbon bow in the
azure, silver (white) and azure colors, similar to the ellipse quarters, it represents
the Argentine nationality.