Is the Left Right in Venezuela?
Much has been made of the revised coat-of-arms of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the direction in which the horse is running. Most commentators, and Señor Chávez himself, believe that the old horse was running "to the right", and the new version has the horse running "to the left" as a reflection of Señor Chávez's socialist revolution.
This is, however, not an accurate reflection of heraldic conventions. In heraldry, left and right are perceived from the point of view of the shield, or of a person standing behind and holding the shield. While the original version may have had the horse running toward the viewer's right, it was running towards its own left. So, through a misunderstanding of the concepts of heraldic art, Señor Chávez now has Venezuela's horse charging to the right.