Pridekit - National Coat Of Arms


South Africa's National Coat of Arms

Coat of ArmsOur oat of arms is the highest visual symbol of the country. Just think - all the important events in your life - birth, marriage, death and school certificates, your passport - all have the Coat of Arms on them. The coins in your pocket each have it on one side.

The new coat of arms replaced one that had been around since 1910. The new one reflects the democratic change in South Africa and our new sense of patriotism.

The design of the Coat of Arms has a series of pieces that look like egg-like or oval shapes - placed on top of one another.

The lower oval shape represents the elements of Foundation:

  1. The first element is the Motto in a green semicircle. Completing the semicircle are two symmetrically placed pairs of elephant tusks pointing upwards. Within the oval shape formed by the tusks are two symmetrical ears of wheat that, in turn, frame a centrally placed gold shield.
  2. The shape of the shield makes reference to the drum, and contains two human figures from Khoisan rock art. The figures face one another in greeting and in unity.
  3. Above the shield are a spear and a knobkierie, crossed. These are arranged to show the shield and they complete the lower oval shape of foundation.
  4. Immediately above the oval shape of foundation, is the centre of the Coat of Arms, a protea. The petals of the protea are drawn in a triangular pattern like you see on many African crafts.
  5. The secretary bird is placed above the protea and the flower forms the chest of the bird. The secretary bird stands with its wings uplifted in a regal and rising way. You can see the distinctive feathers on the head of the secretary bird who looks strong and watchful.
  6. The rising sun is between the wings of the secretary bird and this completes the oval shape of ascendance.

The meaning of all the symbols above is given below:

The motto

The motto is: !ke e: /xarra //ke, written in the Khoisan language of the /Xam people, literally meaning: diverse people unite. It calls for the nation to unite in a common sense of belonging and national pride - Unity in Diversity.

Elephant Tusks

Elephants symbolise wisdom, strength and eternity.

The ears of wheat

An emblem of fertility, they also symbolise the idea of germination, growth and development of what can be. They relate to the nourishment of the people and the agricultural aspects of the earth.

The shield

It is a display of identity and of spiritual defence..

The human figures

The figures are derived from images on the Linton stone, a world famous example of South African Rock Art, now housed and displayed in the South African Museum in Cape Town. The Khoisan are the oldest known inhabitants of our land and most probably of the earth. The figures are greeting. This also represents the beginning of each person's transformation into a greater belonging to the nation and to Humanity.

The spear and knobkierie

Both symbols of defence and authority. The spear and knobkierie are lying down, symbolising peace.

The protea

The protea is an emblem of the beauty of our land and the flowering of our potential as a nation. The protea symbolises all the forces that grow from the earth and are nurtured from above. The most popular colours of Africa have been given to the protea - green, gold, red and black.

The secretary bird

The secretary bird is shown to look like growth and speed. This bird of the air is the equivalent of the lion on earth. This powerful bird's legs serve it well in its hunt for snakes and that symbolises protection of the nation against enemies. This bird is a messenger of the heavens and is a symbol of divine majesty. Its uplifted wings are an emblem of the uplifting of our nation. The bird is depicted in gold, which links it to the sun and the highest power.

The rising sun

The sun is bright, splendid and the best example of the nature of energy. It symbolises knowledge, good judgement and willpower. It is the symbol of the source of life, of light and the ultimate wholeness of Humanity.