Throughout the centuries the shield of the Carmelite Order has undergone various transformations. The main elements have remained: the representation of a mountain, Mount Carmel, in the center of the shield with a star on the mountain side and two stars above and on either side of the summit. The stars represent the Marian and Elian traditions of the Order. The star on the mountain represents the Virgin Mary to whom the Order is dedicated. The two stars in the upper portion of the shield are the prophets Elijah and Elisha. These two men from the Book of Kings in the Old Testament are considered the spiritual inspirations of the Order today.
Some versions of the shield include five stars above the shield in the form of a crown. The crown represents Mary as “Mother and Splendor of Carmel”, an ancient title attributed to the Mother of Our Lord by the early Carmelites.