Nigeria has gone a long way beyond colonialism, amalgamation; there are more stories behind its growth and development. It has been archaeologically proven to be the historical birthplace of the oldest human existence. All through this era, there have been turbulent times, challenges and peril. Still, it has stood firm by preserving its cultural norms, national symbols, culture, and others.
The country has invented new ones and still preserves them for the unborn generation. This is one of the key attributes of Nigeria. This article is going to act as an eye-opener for you to know Nigerian symbols and what each of them represents.
10 Nigerian Symbols and Their Meaning
The following is a list of Nigerian symbols and what they stand for:
The National Anthem
This is one of the most important symbols we have in Nigeria. The song has its own uniqueness in the sense that it reveals the history of Nigeria. People show respect by standing on their feet whenever the national anthem is being sung. The history of the national anthem can be related to the first one that was used when Nigeria got its independence in 1960.
The lyrics of this current national anthem were derived from the phrase of 5 renowned personalities who contested to compose for the new one. All the phrases were structured by Benedict Odiase the then ex-director of police and his band, and that was how this new national anthem was gotten.
Nigerian First Anthem
Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all, are proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.
Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.
O God of all creation,
Grant this our one request,
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed,
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed.
Nigerian Second Anthem
Arise O’ Compatriots,
Nigeria’s call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labours of our heroes past Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom,
peace and unity
Oh God of Creation, direct our noble cause,
Guide (thou) our leaders right,
Help our youth the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign
Coat of Arms of Nigeria
Most people in Nigeria have seen what the coat of arms looks like, except you didn’t go to Nursery or Primary school. This is part of the first things you will learn in most Nigerian schools. All the Nigerian currencies have this symbol on them. If you are still finding it hard to know the symbol, I would help you describe it.
The coat of arms has a black shield and a wavy white pall, which shows or indicates the meeting point of Benue and Niger Rivers at Lokoja known as confluence. The black shield symbolizes Nigeria’s soil fertility, while the two horses on each side show dignity. The eagle represents strength, while the white and green bands above the shield show Rich soil.
The National Pledge
If you were to ask many citizens in Nigeria their first time of reciting this, some of them will tell you how horrible it was. This is common among pupils in Nursery and Primary schools reciting it with all boldness not knowing they are saying words that are not correct. In 1976, the national pledge was composed by a highly recognized Prof. (Mrs.) Felicia Adebola Adedoyin. She was born on November 6, 1938, and hails from Oyo State.
She composed the national pledge in June 1976 and it was published in Daily Times in that same month. In September 1976, General Olusegun Obasanjo made it mandatory that all schools in Nigeria should endeavour to recite the pledge every morning on the assembly ground.
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 honour and glory
So help me God.
The Nigerian Naira
This has become the currency of the country, and it is being used as a medium of transaction even in the local and foreign markets. The naira has a sign ₦, and it is divided into 100 kobos. All banks in Nigeria accept this and the Central Bank of Nigeria controls the amount of inflow, outflow, supply, distribution, and processing of this currency including banknotes and coins.
Nigerian Armed Forces
The Nigerian Armed Forces are very deadly in terms of their appearance and the way they act. Since their inception, they have fought the civil war – Biafra war 1967 – 70. They have also gone to other foreign nations for peace keepings. The Nigerian Armed Forces have also become President in time past.
This symbol comes with lots of wandering question; can a flower be part of a national symbol? The truth about this is there should be no doubt in your mind because you are going to see reason as you read ahead. The red flowers at the bottom of the national coat of arms are called Costus spectabilis. All these flowers were chosen for inclusion in Nigeria’s national coat of arms as it can be seen all over Nigeria.
The Nigerian Flag
The Nigerian flag happens to be an adaptation of the victorious entry from Michael Taiwo in a contest that was carried out in 1959. He was 23 years old, and also a student at that period he designed the Nigeria national flag. He studied at Norwich Technical College, London, England.
Akinwunmi saw an advert in a national Newspaper that submissions for a new design of the national flag were being accepted. The initial submission of this flag had a red sun badge at the middle, white vertical band and a green vertical on either side. Unfortunately, the badge was removed by the then judges, but the flag itself has remained untouched.
In most Nigerian offices, the picture of the President is seen. For instance, if you go to any private offices to carry out your research, 8 out of 10 offices we have his Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari’s picture. The picture of the president might not be the first of all the national symbols you can think about, but it is difficult to think of a state or national office without President Buhari’s image.
Over the years, the Nigerian film industry has evolved right from its first film ‘Living in Bondage’. Fortunately, Nollywood happens to be the third-largest movie industry we have on the planet in terms of gross income. Nigerian movies are gaining grounds in foreign movie markets. Several cinematic movies are becoming blockbusters in film festivals. Presently, hundreds of films are released by Nigeria every year, and this is one of the reasons they have emerged at the No. 3 spot.
Sometimes, I close my eyes and think of what Nigeria will be when there is no more crude oil. When it comes to a country that produces multiple barrels of oil, Nigeria is part of them. It is a member of a body known as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). This oil happens to be the number one source of income in the country.
The essence of national symbols is to bring unity among people in a country by creating a verbal, iconic or visual representation of national values, history, goals or people. These symbols are usually used to show nationalism or patriotism.