The escutcheon is wholly surrounded by two laurel leaves.
The coat of arms of Greece displays a white cross on a blue escutcheon, which is surrounded by two laurel branches.
The constitution does not specify a tincture for the branches, implying proper (i.e. green). The Greek government normally uses a design in which the laurel branches are monochrome blue. A version with golden laurel leaves is displayed by the military and on the presidential standard.
In 1973, the then-ruling military junta abolished the monarchy. 7 June 1975, the current arms was introduced. This is a restoration of the traditional arms, yet with laurel leaves being the sole external ornamentation. The government uses a stylised design by the artist Kostas Grammatopoulos.
Created in 1936, after the restoration of the monarchy, in use until 1967, when King Constantine II was exiled, and then nominally until 1973 when the kingdom was replaced by the Hellenic Republic. The arms remains in use by the former Greek Royal Family.
The first Greek national emblem was provided for by the Constitution of Epidauros of 1 January 1822 and was established by decree on 15 March of the same year. It was the shape of a blue and white circular cockade.
Since it was first established the emblem has undergone many changes in shape and in design, mainly due to changes of regime. The original Greek national emblem depicted the goddess Athena and the owl. At the time of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Prime Minister of modern Greece, the phoenix, the symbol of rebirth, was added.
The seal of the Greek Provisional Government (1822–1828). It represents the goddess Athena and her symbol, the owl. The legend reads "Provisional Administration of Greece".