The Nigeria Coat of Arm is a symbol of national unity, state power, and authority which was officially adopted by the Nigerian government in 1975.
Before it’s adoption in 1975, each of the country’s constituent political units had its own Coat-of-Arms. This is because, under a federal system of government, component states are allowed to have their own flag, coat of arm and anthem except printing their own currency or own armed forces. Though the designer of the Nigeria Coat of Arm is not officially documented, however, national symbols such as the national flag are known to have been designed by a student named M.Т Akinkunmi, who won a nation-wide competition in 1959. The Nigerian Coat of Arms is a unique heraldic design on a black shield which has two white lines that form a ‘Y’ shape and two white horses – one on each side. On top of the shield is a green and white band with an eagle standing on top of the band.
The Nigeria Coat of Arms has seven features — each symbolizing the essence or virtue about the country. They include:
A black shield – Which represents Nigeria’s fertile soil.
Two white wavy bands on the shield, which form the letter “Y” – They represent the country’s main inland waterways, the rivers Niger and Benue (which both meet to form a confluence at Lokoja).
Two horses on either side of the shield – Represents Nigeria’s dignity.
Some flowers at the base – The yellow flowers at the base are Coctus spectabilis, a type of flower found in all parts of the country representing the nation’s beauty and rich heritage.
An eagle standing on the shield – Represents the strength and pride of Nigeria.
The wreath (with green and white bands) – These represent the rich agricultural potentials of Nigeria.
The band around the base of the shield – This bears the Nigerian National Motto: “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress” which was adopted since 1978. Before then the motto was formerly “Peace, Unity and Freedom”.
The Nigeria Coat of Arm has been described as a special group of pictures or symbols belonging to a person, family, or group and shown on a shield. Watch the video below to further understand the meaning of this Nigeria’s unique symbol.