Nigeria Coat of Arms & Nigerian Flag: History & Meaning


The coat of arms of Nigeria was officially adopted in 1975 and it consists of a black shield with a wavy white pall, symbolizing the meeting of the Niger and Benue Rivers at Lokoja. The black shield represents Nigeria’s fertile soil, while the two supporting horses or chargers on each side represent dignity. The eagle represents strength, while the green and white bands on the top of the shield represent the rich soil.

The red flowers at the base are Costus spectabilis, Nigeria’s national flower. This flower was chosen for inclusion in the coat of arms as it is found all over Nigeria and also stands for the beauty of the nation. On the banderole around the base is Nigeria’s national motto since 1978: “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress” (formerly “Peace, Unity, Freedom”).

Features of The Nigeria Coat of Arms and Meaning

The Nigeria coat of arms has seven permanent features, symbolizing a particular entity or virtue about Nigeria:

  • A black shield that represents the fertile soil in Nigeria.
  • Two white wavy bands on the shield, which form the letter “Y” represent rivers Niger and Benue, the country’s main inland waterways.
  • Two horses on either side of the shield represent the dignity of Nigeria.
  • Some flowers which are yellow flowers at the base are the Coctus spectabilis, a species of flower that grows in all parts of Nigeria.
  • An eagle standing on the shield represents the strength of Nigeria
  • The wreath (with green and white bands) upon which the eagles stand represents the rich agricultural produce of Nigeria.
  • The nation’s motto on the band around the base of the shield is written, “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress”, this motto was adopted in 1978. Before that time, the country’s motto was formerly “Peace, Unity, and Freedom”.

The Nigerian Flag

The flag of Nigeria was designed in 1959 by Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi at the age of 23 and first officially hoisted on 1 October 1960, the same day Nigeria got her independence from British rule. The flag has three vertical bands of green, white, green. The two green stripes represent Nigeria’s natural wealth, while the white band represents peace.



Akinwumi who saw an advert that submissions for a new design for the national flag of Nigeria was ongoing in 1959 had his education at Norwich Technical College in London, England. His design was finally accepted and had a red radiating sun badge in the middle of the white vertical band with two green bands supporting the white by the sides.

The Nigerian flag has three vertical colors. They are green, white, green. The green stripes represent Nigeria’s natural wealth, while the white stripe represents peace.




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