coat of arms.pngHalf the time we walk through places where it is boldly displayed and crying for recognition, but, how many of us have taken time to understand its significance or have made an effort to consider what it stands for?

Do ordinary citizens know what the national symbol – the Zimbabwe Coat of Arms – stands for?

It is there at the Parliament of Zimbabwe proudly displayed for all who wish to see it, but amazingly, half the people who spoke to ZBC News professed ignorance on the meaning of the Coat of Arms.

Adopted on the 21st of September 1981, exactly a year and five months after the adoption of the country’s national flag, the Zimbabwe Coat of Arms is one of the symbols that are part of the country’s national heritage.

It depicts two kudus on both sides of a green shield which represents the unity of all ethnic groups, each standing on an earthly mound composed of stalks of wheat, a pile of cotton, and a head of maize, at their feet there is the national motto ‘Unity, Freedom, Work’.

Some of these basic facts are unknown to the ordinary citizenry although it is a part of the chiefs’ regalia and it is also the highest rank for non-commissioned officers in the military.

According to the custodians of national monuments, the green shield features white and blue wavy lines on top which represent water and prosperity on the bottom is a symbol of the Great Zimbabwe, representing the historical heritage of the nation.

An AK47 rifle and a hoe located behind the green shield are a symbol of the struggle for peace and democracy as well as the proud work ethic of the people of Zimbabwe.

They are also symbolic for the transition from war to peace.

The red star behind the national bird depicts the hope for the future of Zimbabwe; its revolutionary nature and the struggle towards a fair and equal society, whilst the strips of silk of gold and green symbolise the national financial enterprise and the protection of the economy.

This is the meaning of Zimbabwe’s Coat of Arms. It summarises Zimbabwe’s past and it is also representative of the country’s aspirations for the future.