Spain's official coat of arms is its national symbol. It appears on the flag and on items that represent Spain, such as the national football team's jerseys. It was approved by law in 1981, after the transition to democracy.

On the Coat

On each side of Spain's coat of arms is the Pillars of Hercules, which historically represent the Strait of Gibraltar. Each column is covered by a ribbon about midway across stating the Latin motto "Plus Ultra," meaning "further beyond." In between the columns is a shield consisting of six parts. The top left represents the Kingdom of Castile, the top right represents the Kingdom of Leon, the bottom left represents the Crown of Aragon and the bottom right represents the Kingdom of Navarre. In the middle of these four images is a circle with three fleurs de lis which represent the Anjou section of the House of Bourbon. The Kingdom of Granada is represented at the bottom of the shield. A crown, representing the Crown of Spain, tops off the entire coat of arms.