The Coat of Arms of Guantánamo City
It is insufficiently known the history of the origin and signification of the Coat of Arms of Guantánamo. An example of this is that mechanically, is tended to associate its antiquity with the title of Villa when truly the emblem is posterior. This one has caused mistakes in the bibliography.
In the file of Regino E. Boti jealously guarded by his daughter Florentina, are guarded essential documents for the establishment of these precisions. In a codified portfolio there are copies textually taken by Boti from the originals to all appearance missing related to the Coat of Arms affair.
The first one of them is a proposal of the Tenancy of the Civil Cabinet of Guantánamo, leaded to the superiors Politic Governor of the Island, to the effect “that would be designed an adequate allegory to the loyalty or arms that could use in its seal and Senate-House this Ylustre Ayuntt”.
The letter was signed by a certain fixes it-in 1870 it is dated on December 4th, 1873 !As it is known – the letter fixes it-in 1870 is was already given to this town the Category of Villa with the until this new application; during that time the City Hall of the Villa was out of Coat of Arms. But there even more.
Another unevadable document is the communication in which is acceded to the application of allegory. It is given in Madrid on Wednesday March 24th, 1875 more than a year after the application and more than four of being Gtmo, a Villa.
With this slowness is imaginable that the Coat of Arms was known over here and was started to use several months later, maybe years! In this communication is fixed that:
H.M. has been kind enough to accede to the application of the expressed Guantánamo Villa, and with the purpose of that allegory corresponds to the historic memories of that population and the fountains of its propensity are joined to the emblem that represents the reward to its patriotism, has determined that the seal that from now on uses Guantánamo Municipally and its Senate-House takes oval shape or ellipse in which and next to the borders of its perimeter.
Figure like orle the inscription “Guantánamo Municipally” and in the center and direction of its larges axle, that will be the vertical, it would be engraved on bottom or field with alternate plant of cane, coffee and tobacco, a bee-hive and bees, locating this one in a point where seems to flow Guantánamo River at the bay of this name, so those products and this port are the prime sources of the prosperity of the jurisdiction of the loyal Villa.
This way, 121 years later, the Coat of Arms that we known today-in which representation intervened the same Boti- is to all appearance interpretation a lot creditable about the suggested by those words.
It must be known, however, that the king considered “very little convenient Palm” proposed at first for the seal of the villa by Marquis from Almenares, Prime Minister of the Board of Directors of the island, on November 19th, 1874, according to the same documents.
The insulting spirit of this decision reveals the certain fear of the integrants to the independent ideas of the Cuban people. Those were the days of the War of Ten Years, and at Guantánamo region Antonio Maceo commanded a triumphal campaign of the patriotic arms.
With such antecedents it does not seem assigned to consider in any moment the inclusion of the Palm in the original Coat of Arms. The renovated use, the ransom of our best patriotic traditions and the defense of the conquered independence would found such a decision.
Major General Pedro Agustín Pérez, maxim independent figure of the locality employed the Coat of Arms in his negotiation as first republican mayor of the city at the beginning of this century.
Anyway, as it is known today, the Coat of Arms is the first official symbol of Guantánamo city, besides the use before mentioned the city is encountered at fat image at the bottom of the shell at José Martí Park; at the frontal cornices of the Combatants Center and the ones at Policarpo Pineda Provincial Library (ancient city hall); it is emblem of Rafael Polanco Bidart Provincial Historical Archive.