NIgerian Coat of Arms is a great symbol of its national identity and pride. Learn about its elements and their meaning.
Nigeria, as any other state, possesses own "insignia", such as the coat of arms and flag. Its main purpose is a schematic representation of all that it is famous for. Flags and emblems were changed at various times. As an example, country had completely different distinctive signs during the colonization than modern ones. We will view the establishment of the state symbols of Nigeria below . So who designed the Nigerian Coat of Arms? A student made the national symbols. In 1960, after the liberation from the colonialists, the symbolism has set its final appearance, and did not change.
The original version
History of Nigerian coat of arm began during the colonization of Nigeria by Britain Empire.
The name “Nigeria” became a part of the coat of arms afterwards. As all the colonial territories, Nigerian flag was blue. And there where the coat of arms of the ruling authorities (Britain) depicted in the corner. There was a heraldic image of the crown in a symbolic star drawn from two triangles in another corner. The same star was depicted as so-called Star of David. Despite it, the image of Judaism is irrelevant here.
A red circle and a crown around the star and the inscription "Nigeria" can be seen. This image will inform of a few things:
- the country is under the control and commandment of Britain,
- it is proud and strong nation,
- official name.
The name is written in English, although local languages and dialects widespread in Nigeria until today.
National symbols are result of work of a student named M.Т Akinkunmi. He won a nation-wide competition in 1959. And his work, slightly changed, was adopted.
The meaning of symbols on the coat of arms
The emblem is full of various points and all having some symbolic essence.
- Black box of a shield means fertile lands of Nigeria. They supply country and help to grow products for export. Nigeria actively develops industry and technology. But agriculture and cattle breeding remain significant parts of the contribution to the local economy. Main export goods are wheat, millet, cocoa, coffee, rice and other crops, including peanuts.
- Wavy silver cross on a coat of arms symbolizes Niger and Benue – two major vater arteries of the state.
Did you know that the name "Nigeria" was formed during Europeanization of proper names in colonization times?
Initially, there were two words "Ni” and “Ger" meant "river Ger" in one of the local dialects. So, the name of the river is “Ger”. Now even the locals do not call it with its historical name.
- A torso is above the shield performed in green and silver colors. It symbolizes the fecundity of the land and the natural goods that Nigeria happen to have. At the moment, the country is one of the largest suppliers of oil. It is rich also in mineral deposits such as ore, sapphires, aquamarine and many others.
- A golden eagle rises above the shield. It is a symbol of strength and power of the state. This image is used in almost all the coats of arms and flags. Eagle is known as a noble predator in the symbolic notation. The country, which embodies itself with an eagle, shows not only its strength, but also the natural wisdom.
- Other significant parts of the coat of arms are two white horses, which support the shield on both sides. These noble and strong animals represent the same quality of a country that aspires to peace and harmony.
It demonstrates also its peaceful intentions, despite the inner strength. Silver color that is symbolic for the Nigerian flag gives another reference to the wealth of the local land.
- There is a green field dotted with flowers on the down side. The field itself is a sign of agriculture and love for the homeland. Historically, the area has always been inhabited by Nigeria. And the oldest tribes, such as the Yoruba, occupied their lands for a very long time. Such loyalty must admire.
- Yellow flowers are the official symbols of Nigeria. The Latin name for the flower is Costus spectabilis, but it called simply as “Costus”. Bright plant requires many sunlight and hot conditions. Therefore, country has lots of this plant and it became its official one.
- On the yellow stripe at the bottom, there is the motto of the country located, that sounds like: "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress". This phrase is very clearly puts the main priorities of the country. Indeed, Nigeria has always been very important to keep the faith, including the religious, as well as unity. All nations and tribes live on the big territory. At the moment, Nigeria has about 250 different settlements. Peace and progress – these are the values of the future.
READ ALSO: Who composed the Nigerian national anthem?
There are various items on the emblem, which have huge variety of meanings. Every single thing means a lot and it is just felt like it came out of a soul of a nation.