Coat of Arms of New Zealand

The national coat of arms of New Zealand is a symbol of the country’s sovereignty and identity. It features a shield with four quarters, each representing a different aspect of New Zealand’s history and culture. The shield is supported by two native New Zealand birds, the kiwi and the moa, and is topped by a crown representing the country’s ties to the British monarchy.

The first quarter of the shield features a golden fleece, representing the importance of agriculture and farming to New Zealand’s economy. The second quarter shows a sailing ship, representing the country’s history as a seafaring nation and its connection to the sea. The third quarter features a sheaf of wheat and a plough, representing the importance of agriculture and rural life. The fourth quarter shows a cluster of stars, representing the Southern Cross constellation, which is visible from New Zealand and is an important symbol of the country’s location in the southern hemisphere.

The shield is surrounded by a wreath of silver fern leaves, which is a symbol of New Zealand’s national identity and is often used in sports and other cultural events. The kiwi and the moa, which support the shield, are both native birds of New Zealand and are important symbols of the country’s unique flora and fauna.

The colors used in the coat of arms are predominantly blue, gold, and silver. Blue represents the sea and the sky, which are important elements of New Zealand’s landscape. Gold represents the country’s wealth and prosperity, while silver represents purity and integrity.

The history of the national coat of arms dates back to 1908, when the New Zealand government decided to create a symbol of the country’s sovereignty and identity. The design was created by James McDonald, a government employee who had previously designed the coat of arms for the state of New South Wales in Australia.

The coat of arms was officially granted by King Edward VII in 1911, and has since been used on official documents, government buildings, and other national symbols. It is also used by the New Zealand Defence Force as a symbol of the country’s military strength and commitment to national security.

In recent years, there have been some calls to update the national coat of arms to better reflect New Zealand’s modern identity and values. Some have suggested adding symbols of Maori culture, such as the koru or the tiki, to the design. Others have proposed removing the crown to emphasize New Zealand’s independence from the British monarchy.

Despite these debates, the national coat of arms remains an important symbol of New Zealand’s history, culture, and identity. It represents the country’s unique blend of European and Maori heritage, its connection to the land and sea, and its commitment to prosperity and integrity.

Image Source: Coat of Arms, Public domain, Wikimedia Commons

Scroll to Top