The National Coat of Arms was inspired by the one designed by the poet Miguel Tourbe Tolón, based on the ideas of Narciso López for the National Flag. The present Coat of Arms differs from the one originally made in 1849, as a sketch in La Verdad newspaper which was directed by Teurbe in New York. This was the one was used by López to seal official documents and bonds issued by him, as Head of State of the government of Cuba, between 1850 and 1851.
Its current design was officially approved by the Assembly of Guaimaro, when the Republic of Cuba was created. According to Law 42 of the National Assembly. it is a Symbol of the Nation.
The Coat of Arms represents the Island of Cuba. It is made up of two identical arches which are linked together resembling an ogival leather shield. It is divided into three, parts, spaces or fields. Cuba, representing the key to the Gulf of Mexico, Cuban unity, the sun of liberty, the colours of the flag and a typical Cuban landscape are present on the coat of arms.
The design includes a red Phrygian cap, emblem from the French Revolution, pointing to the right on its upper part. In the past, this cap was worn by those who had attained their freedom. It also has a white five-pointed star in the center, one arm pointing upwards and, just like the flag, the star represents the independent state.
A bundle of eleven sticks holds up the Coat of Arms and they are fastened together with a criss-crossed red ribbon, which represents union as the only source of strength.
The upper horizontal field represents a sea, with two capes, mountains or promontories on the sides symbolizing the position of Cuba between the two Americas and the rising of a new nation. A golden key with a solid rod, on a dark-blue background, closes the strait. In the background, a rising sun illuminates the sky with its rays over a landscape resembling Cuba as the key to the New World, the link between America and Europe and between North America and South America; it also represents the emergence of the rising state.
The lower left field includes a green mountainous and flat landscape with a clear blue sky, symbolizing Cuban nature, presided over by a palm, the typical Cuban tree, with its central leaf bud pointing upwards as the emblem of the indomitable character of the Cuban people.
The lower right field is made of five identical alternating dark blue and white stripes which lean from right to left, resembling the flag. The blue and white stripes symbolize the division of the island into departments during colonial times.
The National Coat of Arms of Cuba is decorated with a laurel wreath to its left, and an oak branch to its right. The former represents strength and the latter represents victory.