Nigeria Coat of Arms & Nigerian Flag: History & Meaning

The Nigeria coat of arms was officially adopted in 1975. It represents the country’s symbol of national unity, state power. It was created together with the National Flag and was approved by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II on 7 March 1971.

Nigeria's coat of arms

Nigeria’s coat of arms

The Nigerian coat of arms was designed by a Bahamian artist and clergyman, Rev. Dr. Hervis L. Bain, Jr.


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

  • A black shield which 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 is the Coctus spectabilis, a specie 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 stands 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 flag of Nigeria was designed by Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi in 1959 at the age of 23 during a competition. It was officially used on 1st March, 1960, the same day Nigeria got her independence from British rule.

flag of Nigeria

Nigeria’s flag

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 colours. They are green, white, green. The green stripes represent Nigeria’s natural wealth, while the white stripe represents peace.

Aside the Nigerian flag, coat of arms, we also have the national anthem and the pledge. All these have their specific meanings, symbols and usage to show Nigeria’s sovereignty.

The Author

Chizoba Ikenwa

Chizoba is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the founder of Nigerian Infopedia. He is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research


Add a Comment
  1. Thanks Chizoba Ikenwa for this educative information about the Nigerian Coat of Arms and Flag.

  2. Thanks nice one I really enjoyed it

  3. Thanks for this chizoba.
    But you didn’t give explanation for the cocta spectabilis

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