The chief of the arms shows the Cuban Flag, a right granted to the city by the "Academia de la Historia," for having been the first place in which the national emblem ever flew over Cuban soil.
The small shield contains the coat of arms of the family of Don Mateo de Cárdenas, founder of the villa; to its right is the Caduceus, representing Cárdenas' commerce; to the

left are two towers, representing industry, and below is an agave plant, representing agriculture.

The point represents the seas that surround Cárdenas.

The motto "Primus in Cuba", or first in Cuba, is again a recognition of the first raising of the national banner.

The laurel branch that appears to the right of the shield represents the city's triumphs and the olive branch to the left is representative of its sports.