Nigerian Coat Of Arm: The Untold story And Facts You Must Know


This article seeks to reveal the untold story and facts behind the creation of the Nigerian coat of arm, with particular reference to the background that led to its creation, coupled with the meaning of every symbolic feature on the coat of arm.

The need to write on this sensitive symbol of our nationhood was as a result of the death of history lessons  in Nigeria. Consequently, most Nigerians are ignorant of the meaning of this National symbol, and the reason for its establishment and adoption. The above reason informed the writing of this article. Lets dive into the discourse without expending more time.

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Picture Of The Nigerian Coat Of Arms

nigerian coat of arm

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The image above is the Nigerian coat of arm, and am sure you’ve seen it before on Nigerian currencies, haven’t you ? what it is, and why it was made should be the question on your mind by now. The answers to these questions are explained below.

What Is The Nigerian Coat Of Arms ?

The Nigerian coat of arm is a unique symbol that represents Nigeria’s unity in diversity, state power and authority. This coat of arm was officially adopted in 1975 as the central symbol that officially represents the  Nigerian federation. Before the adoption of this symbol, the different regions that made up Nigeria then  used to have their own coat of arms. And that could account for the high level of disunity and lack of national consciousness in Nigeria then. The Nigerian coat of arm has 7 core feature. these core features shall be explained later on this post.


The Nigerian coat of arm was made for the purpose of instilling national consciousness in the sub-consciousness of Nigerian nationals. Nigeria came into existence by means of forceful amalgamation between the northern and southern protectorate by the British authority in 1914. These people that was forced to live together as a country had nothing in common, in terms of value systems and culture. Hence, even after the amalgamation in 1914 and independence in 1960, there was still no national consciousness or unity, as the different groups that makes up Nigeria still sees themselves more from their ethnic stand like IBO, YORUBA, HAUSA etc rather than Nigerians.

This seeming ethnic consciousness over national values was part of the reasons that led to the infamous Nigerian civil war of 1967-70, which took the lives of over 3million Nigerians. Shortly after the civil war, which obviously increased the rate of disunity in Nigeria, there was a need to create the national coat of arm, which was designed as a visual reminder to Nigerians that we are one people and one nation,despite our ethnic differences.

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List of Nigeria National Symbols

7 Core Features Of Nigerian Coat Of Arm

  1. A black shield
  2. Two white wavy bands on the shield, which form the letter “Y”
  3. Two horses on either side of the shield
  4. Some flowers at the base
  5. An eagle standing on the shield
  6. The wreath (with green and white bands) upon which the eagles stands
  7. The nation’s motto on the band around the base of the shield

The Black Shield represents Nigeria’s fertile soil.

The Two Horses  on the side of the shield represents Dignity.

The Green and White Band is on top of the shield and it represents the rich soil of Nigeria

The Eagle at the top of the shield, standing on the Green and White band represent strength.

The Red Flowers at the base is the coctus spectabilis. This is the Nigerian national flower .The flower in the national Coat of Arms represents  the beauty of the nation as it is found all over Nigeria.

The White Letter ”Y” represents the two great rivers of Nigeria, which are River Niger and River Benue.

The Band Around The Base carries the Nigerian National Motto since 1978  ”Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress”.  The motto was formerly ”Peace , Unity and Freedom”.

Download The Nigerian Coat of Arm

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