The Coat of Arms in South Africa is identified as a glorified symbol of the state. This state emblem becomes a central part of the Great Seal, which is traditionally known as the highest emblem of state. Any document carrying the emblem would have the highest authority, which will mean presidential approval from the nation of South Africa. Early in April 2008, on Freedom Day, the South African government became democratic and this change was reflected in the coat of arms designed to commemorate a new beginning and attitude. The elements are placed in a symmetrical manner with oval shaped elements lying one on top of he other. The bottom ovals reflect elements of foundation.
The first element stands for the motto printed in a green colored semicircle. There are two pairs of elephant tusks, which point upwards and complete the semicircle. Inside the oval shape created by the tusks of the elephant lie ears of wheat, which are symmetrical and frame the Golden Shield, which is placed in the center.
The shield displays a drum and has two human figures that represent the rock art of the Khoisan. They face each other and are representative of hospitality, welcoming feelings and unity. A spear lies on top of the shield along with the knobkierie, which is crossed in a single unit. These elements lie in harmony to highlight the shield and subsequently complete the bottom half of the oval shape.
The South African Coat of Arms
Along with the oval shape of foundation, on the top is the same oval shape of ascendance. It has a protea right on the center, the petals of which are styled in a triangular pattern to depict the native crafts of Africa.
Above the protea lies a secretary bird, while the flower transforms into the chest of the bird. The wings of the bird are uplifted and spread out to look regal and uplifting. The unique feathers on the head and the crown of the bird exemplify a very vigilant yet strong head. The sunrise above the horizon is positioned in between the two outstretched wings of the secretary bird to complete the oval of ascendance.
The upper and lower oval shapes intersect as a straight and solid line running through to dissect the sphere and represent solidarity and harmony. Elegant stability runs through the design showing the gravity of an authoritative Coat of Arms.
The motto, which is written in the Khoisan language and translates as ‘the unity of multi-diverse people’, is found in the foundation. Every individual action considered to harness different thought processes and actions on a collective level is depicted here. The main emblem focuses on national pride, unity and diversity. Fertility is reflected through the use of wheat. This is meant to symbolize germinating new ideas and development through nourishing the people. The elephant tusks symbolize strength, wisdom, eternity and moderation.