What is a Coat of Arms?
A coat of arms is a unique design usually on a shield, that can represent anything from a family, to a town, to a country. Coat of arms used to be very important in battles. They were the fastest way to identify a person in a big crowd.
Who you were, where you were from, could be worked out from your coat of arms.
Nigeria has it's own coat of arms above. All the elements of a coat of arms usually have a meaning, when you pull all their meanings together, you get a story of what the designer wanted you to know or felt was most important about the people or the place the coat of arms represent.
NIGERIA'S COAT OF ARMS
So what does our coat of arms mean?
The TWO WHITE STRIPES that come together like the letter Y on the black shield represent the two main rivers flowing through Nigeria, the Niger river on the left and the Benue River on the right.
The BLACK SHIELD represents Nigeria's fertile land, which is great for agriculture and will grow nearly anything.
The TWO HORSES on each side represent integrity and dignity of Nigeria and Nigerians.
The EAGLE on the top represents the strength of Nigeria and Nigerians.
The FLOWERS at the base are a special flower found all around Nigeria, the Costus Spectabilis also known as the yellow trumpet plant.
At the base of the coat of arms is the national motto - Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.
Where is the coat of arms used?
Lots of places! By the president and the vice president, many parts of government and by anyone who wants to be recognised very quickly as representing Nigeria.
TIME TO TRY
Draw a coat of arms that represents your family.
What did you choose to put on your coat of arms and why?