The national coat of arms of Vanuatu is a symbol of the country’s sovereignty and independence. It features a traditional Melanesian warrior’s headpiece, a boar’s tusk necklace, and two crossed fern fronds on a blue shield. The shield is supported by two native birds, a red and green parrot and a white pigeon, which represent the country’s diverse birdlife. The motto “Long God yumi stanap” is written in Bislama, one of the official languages of Vanuatu, and translates to “In God we stand.”
The colors used in the coat of arms are significant to Vanuatu’s history and culture. Blue represents the Pacific Ocean that surrounds the country, while green symbolizes the lush vegetation and forests that cover the islands. Red represents the blood of the country’s ancestors and the sacrifices they made for their land and people. The yellow boar’s tusk necklace is a traditional symbol of wealth and status in Melanesian culture, and the fern fronds represent peace and prosperity.
The coat of arms was adopted on July 30, 1980, when Vanuatu gained independence from joint colonial rule by France and the United Kingdom. The design was created by a local artist named Kalontas Malon, who won a national competition to create the country’s coat of arms. The design was chosen for its representation of Vanuatu’s cultural heritage and natural beauty.
The warrior’s headpiece on the coat of arms is a symbol of Vanuatu’s proud history of resistance against colonialism and foreign domination. The country was once known as the New Hebrides and was jointly administered by France and the United Kingdom from 1906 until independence in 1980. During this time, the people of Vanuatu fought for their rights and independence, and the warrior’s headpiece represents their strength and determination.
The boar’s tusk necklace is also a symbol of Vanuatu’s cultural heritage. It is a traditional adornment worn by men in Melanesian societies and is made from the tusks of wild boars. The necklace is a sign of wealth and status and is often given as a gift during important ceremonies such as weddings and funerals.
The two birds on the coat of arms represent the country’s diverse birdlife. Vanuatu is home to over 100 species of birds, many of which are endemic to the islands. The red and green parrot is a symbol of the country’s tropical forests, while the white pigeon represents peace and harmony.
The motto “Long God yumi stanap” reflects the country’s strong Christian heritage. Christianity was introduced to Vanuatu by European missionaries in the 19th century and has since become the dominant religion. The motto emphasizes the importance of faith and trust in God in the country’s national identity.
In conclusion, the national coat of arms of Vanuatu is a powerful symbol of the country’s sovereignty, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. It represents the country’s proud history of resistance against colonialism, its diverse birdlife, and its strong Christian faith. The colors, symbols, and motto all reflect the unique identity of Vanuatu and its people.