National Coatofarms


South Africa’s Coat of Arms was launched on Freedom Day, 27 April 2000. The change reflected the government’s aim to highlight the democratic change in South Africa and a new sense of direction and patriotism.
The Coat of Arms is a series of elements organised in distinct symmetric egg-like or oval shapes placed on top of one another. The completed structure of the Coat of Arms combines the lower and higher oval shape in a symbol of infinity.
The path that connects the lower edge of the scroll, through the lines of the tusks, with the horizon above and the sun rising at the top, forms the shape of the cosmic egg from which the Secretary Bird rises. In the symbolic sense, this is the implied rebirth of the spirit of a great and heroic nation.
The ears of wheat symbolise fertility and the idea of germination, growth. It relates to the nourishment of the people and signifies the agricultural aspects of the Earth.
The elephant tusks symbolise wisdom, strength, moderation and eternity.
The shield has a dual function as a vehicle for the display of identity and of spiritual defence. It contains the primary symbol of the nation.
The human 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, the oldest known inhabitants of South Africa and most probably of the Earth, testify to a common humanity and heritage as South Africans and as humanity in general. The figures are depicted in an attitude of greeting, symbolising unity. This also represents the beginning of the individual’s transformation into the greater sense of belonging to the nation and by extension, collective humanity.
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The spear and knobkierie are dual symbols of defence and authority, they in turn represent the powerful legs of the Secretary Bird. The spear and knobkierie are lying down, symbolising peace.
!Ke e: /Xarra //Ke 
(‘Diverse people unite’)
Written in the Khoisan language of the /Xam people, the motto literally means ‘diverse people unite’. It addresses each individual effort to harness the unity between thought and action. On a collective scale it calls for the nation to unite in a common sense of belonging and national pride – unity in diversity.
The Protea is an emblem of the beauty of the land and the flowering of a nation in pursuit of the African Renaissance.
The Protea symbolises the holistic integration of forces that grow from the Earth and are nurtured from above. The most popular colours of Africa have been assigned to the Protea – green, gold, red and black.
The Secretary Bird is characterised in flight, the natural consequence of growth and speed. It is the equivalent of the lion on land. A powerful bird whose legs – depicted as the spear and knobkierie – serve it well in its hunt for snakes, symbolising protection of the nation against its enemies. It is a messenger of the heavens and conducts its grace upon the Earth. In this sense it is a symbol of divine majesty. Its uplifted wings are an emblem of the ascendance of the nation, while simultaneously offering its protection. It is depicted in gold, which clearly symbolises its association with the sun and the highest power.
The rising sun symbolises the promise of rebirth, the active faculties of reflection, knowledge, good judgement and willpower. It is the symbol of the source of life, of light and the ultimate wholeness of humanity.


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