Nigerian National Symbols: Our True Identity

Like any other sovereign country in the world, Nigeria has a set of unique symbols that characterize it as a nation and give every Nigerian a sense of national identity. A sovereign state cannot function without its symbols, and every Nigerian citizen should know what they are.

Some readers may be surprised by the fact that there are only a few official national symbols of Nigeria, but in reality, there are much more Nigerian national symbols that have both historical and cultural significance. See the 10 national symbols of Nigeria below!

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1. Nigerian flag

Perhaps, the most recognizable national symbol is the Nigeria national flag. If you’re wondering who designed Nigeria flag, we are happy to tell you that it was created by Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi, a London-based student, who won a flag creating a contest among 2000 entries back in 1959.

Nigerian flag

2. Nigerian national anthem

Another Nigerian symbol that everyone has heard of is the anthem. Until 1978, Nigeria used to acknowledge a different version of the anthem, but that year Ben Odiase, who later went on to become the Nigeria police band music director, wrote a new version of the anthem that is still used today.

Nigerian national anthem

3. Nigerian coat of arms

The coat of arms is one of the first things to study if you’re interested in Nigerian symbols and their meanings. Coat of arms of Nigeria is a very complex image that consists of numerous elements: an eagle that symbolizes strength, two horses that stand for dignity, the shield, which symbolizes the fertile soil, and other elements that each have their special meaning.

Nigerian coat of arms

4. Nigerian national flower

Nigerian national flower is actually the one that you can see on the bottom part of the coat of arms. It is called Costus Spectabilis and is found all over Africa in the wild. There are over 100 varieties of Costus Spectabilis known today, and it’s one of the most prominent Nigerian plants.

Nigerian national flower

5. Nigerian national pledge

The pledge is a common national symbol in many countries, and Nigeria has its own version, which is introduced to Nigerians starting from their childhood – in all Nigerian schools lessons start and end with reciting the pledge. The pledge goes like this:

I pledge to Nigeria my country

To be faithful, loyal and honest

To serve Nigeria with all my strength

To defend her unity and uphold her honor and glory

So help me God.

6. Nigerian President

The picture of the Nigerian president may not be the first of the symbols of national identity you think about, but today it’s hard to imagine an office of a state official without a framed photo of President Buhari on the wall – and that’s the way it should be.

Nigerian president

7. Nigerian naira

The currency is one of the most important signs of a sovereign state, which is why it’s not surprising that Nigerian naira is recognized by all Nigerians as one of the national symbols along with the flag, anthem, and coat of arms.

Nigerian naira

8. Nollywood

As the third largest film industry in the world by revenue, Nollywood has become famous far outside the Nigerian borders. Today hundreds of Nigerian films are released every year, and this kind of popularity earned Nollywood a spot in the top 10 ranking of Nigerian symbols.


9. Nigerian oil

Oil is the cornerstone of the Nigerian economy and the state’s most important export product. Many Nigerian families have at least one member who works in the oil production industry, and even those who don’t, recognize oil as one of Nigeria’s most valuable resources.

Nigerian oil

10. Nigerian armed forces

Nigerian army is the main authority when it comes to protecting the territorial integrity of the state. The armed forces have their own uniform and symbols and can be easily recognized both in their home state and while bravely taking part in the various peacekeeping missions.

Nigerian armed forces

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My name is Inna. I am a content writer with an English and literature background. As a mother of a 3-year old son, I love learning about children’s health and development, as well as finding new interesting toys and activities for my little one. I am also in love with all things tech and always keep my finger on the pulse of new smartphone and gadget releases. Another big passion of mine is beauty and makeup – every day I read about new trends in skin care and makeup and always look forward to trying them. Plus, I love pop culture, travelling, crafts, and anything that can make our daily life more thrilling!