The coat of arms was approved by the state's congress in 1943. The shield is quartered orthogonally:
The first quarter is a gold field, representing wealth, faith, purity and constancy. It is charged with the Cerro de la Silla mountain, symbol of the state's capital Monterrey as well as of the state itself. A red sun, symbolizing prosperity, rises from behind the mountain. An orange tree represents the agricultural wealth of Nuevo León.
The second quarter shows the shield of León in modern Spain, after which the state was named. It comprises a red lion rampant, crowned yellow, on a field of argent. The lion symbolizes vigilancy, authority, magnanimity and sovereignty.
The third quarter consists of a silver field with an image of the extinct Temple of San Francisco, representing the origins of the culture of the region.
The fourth section is gold with a depiction of a factory, which represents the industry of Nuevo León.
The motto, shown on a ribbon in the colors of the national flag, is Semper Ascendens (Latin for "always ascending").