Coat Of Arms Of Morelos: History And Meaning

The coat of arms of Morelos is the emblem that identifies this Mexican state and represents the fertility of its land, as well as the revolutionary ideals and aspirations of the Morelos people.

It was created in the early 1920s by the renowned Mexican painter Diego Rivera. Although throughout its history there have been attempts to introduce new versions and modifications, this is the one that has essentially prevailed, with slight variations.

The design of the current version corresponds to the plastic artist Jorge Cázares and was approved by executive decree, promulgated by the then governor of Morelos, on January 1, 1969.

History of the shield

When the independence of Mexico from the Spanish empire was declared in 1810, it was ordered to erase all the noble coats of arms of cities and families. But not all Mexican cities were privileged during the Colony with the granting of a shield.

For this reason, many cities and states did not have shields, as was the case with the state of Morelos, founded on April 16, 1869.

It was not until 1883 when the first coat of arms of the state was created, with the effigy of General José María Morelos y Pavón on a medallion.

For some time the state of Morelos was represented in official documents and insignia with this emblem, at the proposal of the governor of the time Carlos Quaglia.

Later, when Diego Rivera painted the murals for the Federal Government’s Ministry of Public Education, between 1923 and 1929, the definitive shield emerged.

The artist captured in the frescoes the coats of arms of those Mexican states that, during the Viceroyalty, had adopted as their own the coats of arms granted to their respective capital cities.

The problem arose with states that did not have a coat of arms in their cities. So Rivera and his design team created the missing shields, including the Morelos shield. And in them he left the nationalist and revolutionary tendency of the time embodied.

In addition to the two shields mentioned above, there are other versions that were used to identify the state before its independence.

One of these variations was the emblem that was used in the Marquesado del Valle de Oaxaca, corresponding to the coat of arms of the conqueror Hernán Cortés.

This shield is still preserved in Cuernavaca, the capital of Morelos, in the Temple of San José, also known as the El Calvario spire.

An attempt was also made to use the symbol of Cuauhnáhuac (original name of Cuernavaca) as an emblem of the state of Morelos. However, the design that has prevailed is that of Diego Rivera.

Shield Meaning

The differences between Rivera’s original shield and the current one are more in form than in background, in terms of the colors used and the style of the composition, due to the fresco technique used by the painter in the murals.

The elements that make up both versions of the shield are the same. However, it should be noted that a more naturist criterion predominates in Cázares’s work, instead of the merely ideological one that Rivera printed on him.

The main element in both shields is the corn plant on an ocher-colored groove, which represents the fertility of the land and the ancestral food source of the Mexican, from which a star emerges that symbolizes the birth of the new state.

In Rivera’s painting this star is white, while in Cázares’s shield it is yellow.

On the plant appears the phrase “Land and Freedom”, which represents the ideals of struggle and revolutionary aspirations. The motto used by the Zapatista army also appears: “The Earth Will Return to Those Who Work It With Their Hands”, which surrounds the borders or rectangles designed by both artists.

This last phrase that appears on the edges surrounding the entire shield and that refers to the agrarian revolution promoted by Emiliano Zapata in Mexico, synthesizes the ideals, at the service of the people, of the Mexican revolution of Morelos.


  1. López González, Valentine. History of the shields of the state of Morelos. Morelos State Documentation Institute, 1996.
  2. Maria Helena Noval. The change of the Morelos coat of arms: how much is that little bit? 2012. Consulted of
  3. Diego Rivera: His relationship with the shields of some States of the Republic. 2014. Consulted of
  4. Morelos coat of arms. Recovered from
  5. Toponymy and heraldry of Morelos. Retrieved on November 20, 2017 from
  6. Cuernavaca. Consulted in

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