Symbols of Navarre


The Arrano Beltza ("black eagle" in Basque) is an ancient Basque and Navarre symbol which shows a black eagle upon a yellow background.

The black eagle was originally the seal of King Sancho VII of Navarre but was later attributed to Sancho III of Navarre who, when incorporating Aragon and Castile, had under his crown all the territories of Basque culture (7 historical Basque provinces) and language, including those traditionally Castilian, since his kingdom reached from Galicia to the Mediterranean Sea. From a Basque nationalist interpretation, the rule of Sancho III constitutes a historical precedent for the aspirations of the unification of the Basque-speaking territories under one independent State.

The flag is a modern interpretation of the seal.

Seal of King Sancho VII of Navarre



The coat of arms of Navarre consists of gold chains on a red background, with an emerald in the center of the nexus between its eight arms of links."

This description applies to the historical coat of arms of Navarre – a gold chain on a red background – which has its origin in the coat of arms that the Navarrese King Sancho VII the Strong made his own in 1212, following the victory of the Christian monarchs of Navarre, Castile and Aragon against the Moorish forces, which took place in Navas de Tolosa (in today’s province of Jaen), during the re-conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. The chains are representative of those that surrounded the tent of the Moorish "King Miramamolin the Green" and which Sancho the Strong rent asunder with his own sword. The emerald in the center represents the one the defeated Moorish king wore on his turban.

This personal heraldic symbol belonging to Sancho the Strong replaced the one the same king had been using up until that time, namely a black eagle – arrano beltza in Basque. The King’s coat of arms later became seen as the coat of arms of the whole kingdom and over the centuries it is depicted in a variety of ways – chains, bars, little circles.


Poem by J.A. Artze

Arrano beltzarekin joan ziren
Jaengo Navas de Tolosara
eta kateekin itzuli ziren etxera

atzerritarrentzat atzerrian gerla irabazi
eta Herrian Nafarroa galdu.
ez dea bada etsipengarria
ez dugula ikusi
ez dugula ikusi
(ez da nunbait aski)
gibeletik eman digutela
nork ez daki

ematen ari zaizkigula
eman eta hartuko dugula
sartuko digutela
ematen datozenean
ez badugu, behingoz
leihatilla nola hertsi ikasten
They left with the Black Eagle, the Navarese left
To Navas de Tolosa in Jaen
And they returned home with the chains

Is it not sad to win the war for foreigners in a foreign land, and lose his your own Country: Navarre!

Is not it sad, as well, to see that we have not seen, and that even now, we really do not see that we have been attacked by treachery from the rear, that we continue to make us have, and that soon we will be pierced

so at least we do not learn, for once, to close our window.


José Antonio Artze Agirre