The Nigerian coat of arm was designed by an undocumented individual and officially adopted by law in 1975. But prior to that, each geopolitical constituents had its own unique coat of arm. Along with the national flag, currency, etc., the Coat of Arms is one of the national symbols of the Great country, Nigeria. The Coat of Arms is made up of several components that each bear unique meaning; seven (7) components to be more specific.
At the elementary or primary school level, pupils are often taught about the coat of arms and possibly, some are not even taught at all. This write-up seeks to achieve two things at least; firstly, to enlighten those who do not know what these components of the coat of arms mean. Secondly, to serve as a reminder or refresher to those who have been taught or have forgotten. So here we go, the meanings of the several components of the Nigerian Coat of Arms.
The Nigerian coat of arms and the Meaning of its Components
The Nigerian coat of arm is made up of a black shield which has a curly ‘Y’ symbol crested in its middle and a green and white band atop. Two off-white coloured horses stand facing each other at both sides of the shield, and a giant red eagle that rests on the crest of the shield. Other notable features are the green grass on which the shield rests and the 6 red Costus spectabilis flowers scattered within the grass. Also found in its base is an inscription which reads “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress”.
Below are the meanings of these components:
- Red eagle: The red giant eagle standing on the shield indicates the strength and pride of Nigeria
- Black Shield: The black shield represents the fertile loamy soil found in all parts of the country.
- Two Horses: The two horses standing on both side of the shield represent the dignity of Nigeria.
- Curvy Y symbol: The curvy Y symbol located in the middle of the shield represent the confluence of the two largest Rivers in Nigeria, River Niger and River Benue, at Lokoja, Kogi State.
- Green and white band: The green and white band atop the black shield represent the rich agricultural potential of Nigeria.
- Red Costus Spectabilis flowers: The red Costus Spectabilis flowers dissipated at the bottom of the flag represent the beauty of Nigeria. Another reason for the inclusion of this beautiful flower is due to the fact that it is found in almost all towns and villages in the country. The flower also stands for the beauty of the nation.
- Golden band: The golden band or the banderole around the base is Nigeria’s national motto since 1978: “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress” (formerly “Peace, Unity, Freedom”). This slogan can be noticed in lines of the National anthem.
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