The Nigerian Coat of Arm: Meaning and description


This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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Obviously, knowing every single thing that is there to know about the Nigerian Coat of Arm is one of the features that made a good citizen.

You and I both know what the coat of arms looks like. But do you know what every single element in the coat of arms symbolizes? I guess your answer is negative.

Well, the Coat of Arms of any nation is, without iota of doubt, one of the most important symbols of that country. It is more than a picture that has connection with that country.

And it means more than what it is being used for in official documents. The Nigeria Coat of Arm has seven distinct features with deep meaning.

Each of the features has it own meaning and what it symbolizes in Nigeria. They are not just like a decoration. Each of them passes a message.

Nigeria's Coat of Arm

They represent:

  • Bravery of our soldiers
  • The country’s dignity and pride;
  • Our freedom;
  • Unity;
  • And peaceful co-existence.

The Special Coat of Arms in Nigeria

Do you know that there are several variants of the coat of arms in Nigeria? If you don’t know, now you know. There are different kinds of them!

There’s nothing to be worried about that as the Nigerian constitution permits each state and local government to have their own special coat of arms design.

Just as each state (including political parties) is permitted to coin their special state and party anthem and flag. They can design a special coat too.

Let’s take for instance, if you take a special look at the President and vice president, National Assembly, Lagos State, Enugu State, and Sokoto State seal, you’ll definitely spot differences.

However, the national coat of arm — which is the most popular of them all — benefit from the world’s heraldic subculture.

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Although the logo, images, design, and emblems are used in a naturalistic way. The Nigerian national symbol, definitely, speaks the mind of all the Nigerians.

Meaning of each symbol in the Nigeria Coat of Arm

Apparently, the Nigeria Coat of Arm is a symbol of national virtue, unity, authority and state power. Hence, we will be describing each element on the logo as well as what they symbolize.

From the logo, we have:

  • Shield;
  • The Crest (Eagle);
  • The Supports (Unicorn, horses, etc);
  • Wreath;
  • Motto;
  • Base of the logo; and
  • The letter “Y”.

1) The shield of the Coat of Arms

The most important feature of the Nigeria Coat of Arm is arguably THE SHIELD. Sometimes, the colour of the shields varies and so is the symbols or bands on them.

But usually, the shield of the Nigeria Coat of Arms is often black and it symbolizes the fertile soil of our dear Nigeria.

That is to say, our agricultural heritage is known for producing cocoa, soya bean, rice, cassava, yams, sorghum, millet, peanuts, etc.

2) The Crest

Another obvious and fascinating element in the Nigeria’s coat of arms is the crest which has an eagle standing tall on the green and white bands.

The eagle, which is drawn Gules, magnificently represents the strength and pride of Nigeria.

While the white and green bands — where the eagle stands — also symbolizes the country richness in agriculture.

3) The Support

In the same vein, the supporters of the Coat of Arm vary sometimes. At time, it could be horses, warriors, lions, unicorns, bulls and other creatures.

However, the most popular and highly recognized ones are the two horses. Whatever it is, the support represents dignity and pride.

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And depending on figure used in the support, they may also represent:

  • Animals that is very common or celebrated somewhere in the country;
  • Holy and important creatures;
  • Warriors with a great impact in the country’s history;
  • Creatures with important and symbolic meaning for the country; etc.

4) Costus Spectabilis ( The flowers)

If you look at the base of the Nigeria Coat of Arms, you will clearly see a green field furnished with yellow flowers.

These flowers are known as Costus spectabilis, they remain the national flower of Nigeria and can be found all over the country.

Just like all other features, the flowers also represent natural wealth and the beauties of the nation.

5) The Letter Y

Another vital aspect of the shield that can be found on the Nigerian Coat of Arm is a feature that looks like “letter Y”.

It is formed out of two white wavy bands that meet and join together to become one. They symbolize the major rivers of Nigeria; River Niger and River Benue

The two Rivers meet at Lokoja (the capital city of Kogi state) where they formed the confluence.

6) The Motto of the Coat of Arms

As clearly seen on the Coat of Arms, the Nigeria’s motto is “Unity and faith, Peace and Progress” and the words are purely written on a gold ribbon where it is placed at the bottom of the shield.

Initially, the motto used to be “Peace, Unity and Freedom” and not until 1978 where the present one was adopted.

Unlike the colour black, green and white that can equally be found on the country’s logo, the gold colour on the other hand symbolizes respect, generosity, and understanding.

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7) The Wreath

Worthy of mention in the Nigeria coat of arm is the wreath. It is an appendage to the shield, a twisted and interwines curl flower.

They are covered with the green and white bands which symbolize the country’s Agricultural potentials.


The Coat of Arm is the official seal of President. It represents Nigeria and speaks for the minds of all Nigerians. The features on it were coined in a more naturalistic way with deep meaning.

Without any doubt, it remains the foremost national symbol to cherish. As you have seen from the analysis above, there are tons of interesting fact and information the Coat of Arm.

And we are convinced enough thay you have discovered and learned something new for yourself today.

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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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