Background and historical arms
On 8 May 1935, Portugal introduced a new coat of arms for its colonies, including Cape Verde, São Tomé and Principe, and Guinea-Bissau (then Portuguese Guinea). The 1935 arms are described as follows: "All arms were of the same model: divided vertically in such a way that two sub-shields are formed. The dexter was white with five small blue shields each bearing five white discs (i.e. the “quinas cross” representing the motherland). The sinister represented the colony. In the base green and white waves to indicate the overseas location. To complete the badge, the arms were set upon a golden armillary sphere with a golden mural crown." On July 11, 1951, a slightly revised version was introduced, which was used until July 5, 1975.
The replacement flag following independence in 1975, in use from then until 1992, used colours more typical of African nations, with red, green and yellow, almost identical to the flag of Guinea-Bissau. On the left in the red portion of the flag was the coat of arms, in use from July 5, 1975 until September 22, 1992 in its own right. It featured a large black star, surrounded by a saffron-yellow and green maize wreath and a scallop shell in the centre, also of a saffron/amber colour. The independent coat of arms, not used on the flag, featured the same saffron-yellow and green maize wreath and a scallop shell in the centre at the bottom, but the star was smaller and complicated with several other features, including a flag poll and something resembling a book. The current national emblem of Cape Verde was adopted in 1992 at the same time as the national flag, 17 years after the island nation became independent.
Coat of arms of Portuguese Cape Verde from June 11, 1951 to July 5, 1975.
Lesser coat of arms between May 8, 1935 and July 5, 1975.
Coat of arms of Cape Verde from July 5, 1975 to September 22, 1992.