Shield Of Pasto: History And Meaning

The shield of San Juan de Pasto  is a heraldic symbol that represents the Colombian municipality of Pasto, the capital of the department of Nariño, known as the surprise city of Colombia.

The exact date of its foundation is uncertain, although it is presumed that it was June 24, 1537. A similar situation occurs with the founder of this city, but there are three historical candidates to grant this honor: Sebastián de Belalcázar, Lorenzo de Aldana and Pedro de Puelles.

The shield of Pasto has been one of the most important emblems of the city for more than 400 years. It was granted by Princess Juana of Austria on June 17, 1559, assigned in Valladolid in the name of King Felipe II.

The original shield is kept in the archives of the Duke of Alba in Madrid, Spain.

Description and meaning

The Pasto coat of arms has a blue field in its interior that symbolizes justice, loyalty, obligation, protection of its lands and obedience to the laws.

Within the field there are five historical symbols: the castle, the lions, the river, the trees and the border, which represents the city of San Juan de Pasto.

The castle

It has three silver towers, its windows are painted in saber (black) that indicate that they are closed. The door in the current model is painted saber, but in the old model it is silver or gold.

The castle is located in the upper center of the shield and symbolizes beauty, altitude, asylum for visitors, the union and defender of friends, the strength of buildings, greatness and power.

The silver color symbolizes the faith, obedience, vigilance and gratitude of its people.

The Lions

There are four lions and two of them are located on each side of the castle. They symbolize vigilance, sovereignty, authority, monarchy, and the generous and warrior spirit of the inhabitants of the city of Pasto.

The river

The Royal Decree expressed by means of a letter: « That under this castle a river with blue and white waters emerges «. The water symbolizes the mirror, which naturally reflects the wonderful works of God.

He projects purity, humility, the virtues of his people, integrity, and the defeat of his enemies.

The color of its waters represents obedience, justice, loyalty, and the protection of agriculture that characterizes the city of San Juan de Pasto.

The trees

The trees are located in the lower part of the shield located on each side of the river, they are laurel green, which symbolizes victory and the beautiful green colors that characterize the landscapes of the city.

Trees represent love for your business, stability, hope, and admiration for nature.

The border

It is the decorative element that surrounds the inside of the shield with a fillet shape.

Inside it are the castle, the river and the trees, with the lions that are outside the border supporting them.


  1. (nd). “Shield of Pasto – Mayor of Pasto.” It was consulted on September 27… 2017.
  2. (nd). “Shield of San Juan de Pasto – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” It was consulted on September 27… 2017.
  3. (nd). “Shield of San Juan de Pasto – Esacademic.” It was consulted on September 27… 2017.
  4. (nd). «File: Drawing of the Shield of San Juan de Pasto de la Real Cedula.jpg….» Consulted on September 28… 2017.
  5. (nd). «San Juan de Pasto» Was consulted on September 28 …

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