The story behind the inception, growth, and development of Nigeria goes beyond the world view about colonialism, having been archaeologically proven that it is the birthplace of one of the oldest human existence in history. The symbols of Nigeria depicts the stages that have been involved in the transition of the old Nigeria to the new Nigeria it showcases the faith we have in the country, our hope and determination to succeed and they also represent past and present milestones we have and may meet in the course of building the brand “Nigeria”.
1. National Anthem
One of the most significant national symbols in Nigeria today is the National Anthem, a unique song revealing the Nigerian history, what is stand for and what it stands to do. The song has a unique meaning and influence on Nigerians that whoever is within the area where it sings most show respect by standing up.
The history of the National Anthem goes far back with the first one being in use up to 1960 before it was officially replaced by the current National Anthem dues to some lapses it had. The current national anthem lyric was gotten from the phrase of 5 notable people who contested for a rewrite of the new one. The phrases were then put together by the then director of police band, pa Benedict Odiase and it became the new National Anthem.
2. National Flag
The Nigeria national flag was designed by Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi in 1959. The flag was publicly displayed for the first time in 1960 during Nigeria Independence From British Colonization the flag also earned the designer a cash price of 100 pounds.
The two greenish left and right in the National flag of Nigeria represents Nigeria’s vast forest and agriculture, the abundant national wealth and it is lush and arable vegetation while the white at the center represents peace and unity (absolute serenity).
Rules governing the hoisting of the Nigeria flag and its maintenance:
- On no account should any other flag be raised higher than the Nigerian flag.
- The Nigerian flag must be hung on important days or any important event. For instance, in cases of death across the country, the Nigerian flag is hoisted at half-length to respect the fallen heroes.
- The flag must be hoisted at sunrise and lowered at sunset.
- Finally, if for any reason, the Nigerian flag get torn, it must be replaced
3. Coat of Arms
The Nigerian coat of arms features an eagle mounted on a black shield, which is trisected by two wavy bands. Two white horses support the shield, and at its base is a wreath of coctus spectabilis flowers created in the national colors of white and green.
The black shield represents the fertile soil while the ‘Y’ shaped silvery bands represents the Niger and Benue Rivers, Which flows differently but joined at a certain point to form the main inland waterways in Nigeria. The eagle stands for strength and the two opposing horses symbolize dignity and strength. The coctus spectabilis is a colorful flower, which grows wildly in Nigeria. It is a very common sight in the Guinea Savanna.
4. National Pledge
The Nigerian National pledge is an oath of allegiance of support of the country. Often times, it is recited after the National anthem. The National pledge was drafted by a Nigerian Professor, Prof (Mrs) Felicia Adebola in 1976 and in September 1976, General Olusegun Obasanjo decreed that all schools children should recite the national pledge on daily basis. The National pledge is for teaching every citizen of the country to honor and serve Nigeria in the best way possible. The national pledge goes thus:
“I pledge to Nigeria my country
To be faithful loyal an honest
To serve Nigeria with all my strength
To defend her unity
And uphold her honor and glory
So help me God.”
The National Anthem and pledge is considered to be the most important symbol of Nigeria, as the anthem unites all Nigerians into one sovereign state. And that is its meaning and purpose.
5. Nigerian Naira
It will interest you to know that the Nigerian Naira is one of our important national symbols. The Naira is Nigeria’s official legal tender since 1973. It is used in day to day transaction within the country.
The Central Bank of Nigeria is the only authorized issuer of the Naira. Currently, the Naira notes are in denominations: #5, #10, #20, #50, #100, #200, #500 and #1000. On these different notes are pictures of heroes of Nigeria. The #50 notes most especially denote unity in diversity as the presence of various ethnic groups and culture was fully depicted it.
light sleeper, heavy dreamer.