The origin of the Nigerian coat of arms could be dated back to the medieval ages of Europe. The kings, princes, knights used it as a means of identity in wars.
They weren’t only used during wars, as it also served as a means of identity for families, tribes and so on and a method of preserving and passing from one generation to the other family values and beliefs.
These heraldic designs have been a way of depicting what a particular person, group, or country stands by or stands with. Nigeria, being colonized by the British, now also shares the culture of the coat of arms.
There are interesting facts you didn’t know about the Nigerian coat of arms. And that is what I vividly want to share with you in this article.
A typical coat of arms consists of a shield, supporters, crest, and motto. The Nigeria coat of arm is not devoid of these features as all are well represented.
Just like the National flag, the Nigerian coat of arm is an official national symbol that speaks authority.
However, the indiscriminate use of the coat of arms and the national flag is not allowed, unless granted a proper license under the guidance of the law. This provision is made under the Flags and Coat of Arms Acts of 1990.
There is no clear definition of who designed the Nigerian coat of arms. There are various speculations that it was created during the regime of Gen. Murtala Mohammed, while some say some foreign clergymen designed it.
Who is to be followed? Well, our interest is in what the various design features signify, and they affect us Nigerians.
As I earlier stated, a coat of arm consists of a shield, a crest, supporters, and motto. The crest is an eagle, while the supporters are the two horses. The shield and motto are therein contained.
The Nigeria coat of arm has a black shield with a ‘Y’ shaped design at the middle. Just above the shield is a green-white wreath. About the shield are two white horses, with an elegant eagle standing above the wreath.
The shield stands on a green field with red flowers strewn about it. The motto of the country runs down as Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress. What do these things mean? How do they combine to give it the authority it has.
- The eagle defines the strength of Nigeria, while the black shield on which it stands denotes the fertile Nigeria soil and
- The Green-White wreath shows the rich Nigerian soil.
- The white coloured ‘Y’ shape signifies the two major rivers in Nigeria: River Niger and River Benue. The two rivers met at Lokoja to give it that shape.
- The two white horses standing around the shield signify the dignity of Nigeria
- The fertility of Nigeria is also depicted in the green field, with beautiful red-white flowers showing our beauty as Nigeria. The flower is Costus Spectabilis is a national flower which grows in all part of the country.
- The golden band bears the motto of Nigeria as a country. This motto reads: Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress. Before 1979 this motto used to ‘Unity and Faith’.
- The various regions of Nigeria: Northern, Western, Mid-Western and the Eastern part, used a different coat of arms as of 1960. Gen Yakubu Gowon put an end to it when he introduced a general coat of arm in the year 1975.
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