Coat of arms of Malaysia
This page is about the meaning, origin and characteristic of the symbol, emblem, seal, sign, logo or flag: Coat of arms of Malaysia.
The Coat of Arms of Malaysia (Jata Negara in Malay) is a coat of arms comprising a shield or escutcheon, two tigers for supporters, a crescent and fourteen point star for a crest and a motto). As the Malaysian emblem descended from the coat of arms of the Federated Malay States under British colonial rule, the current emblem of the Malaysian state resembles European heraldic practices.
The Coat of Arms of Malaysia consists of a shield guarded by two supporters as rampant tigers. The shield is topped by a crest consisting of a yellow crescent with a 14-pointed "federal star", and includes a motto, depicted as a banner, at the bottom.
Crest or helm (crescent and federal star)
The yellow color of the crest, a crescent and a 14-pointed federal star, symbolizes the country's monarchy. The crescent also represents Islam as the official religion while the federal star represents the thirteen states and the Federal Territories of Malaysia.
Originally, the fourteen-pointed star represented the original fourteen states of Malaysia, which included Singapore. It was not changed when Singapore left the Federation in 1965, but it has generally been accepted that the 14th point represents the Federal Territories.
The upper portion or chief of the shield contains five krises on a red background, representing the five former Unfederated Malay States, Johore, Terengganu, Kelantan, Kedah and Perlis. The remainder of the shield, which in the coat of arms of Malaya was divided in three per pale (longitudinally) between the former Federated Malay States, Penang and Malacca, is now divided into four sections:
In the upper middle of the shield, below the row of krises, are the colors of the Federated Malay States (red, black, white and yellow) arranged from left to right. The permutations of the colours red, black, white and yellow make up the colors of these states' flags. Red, black and yellow are for Negeri Sembilan; black and white for Pahang; black, white and yellow for Perak; and red and yellow for Selangor.
In the lower middle of the shield, there are three sections formerly representing the new (in 1963) states of Sabah, Singapore and Sarawak. Since 1965, Singapore's section has been replaced by a depiction of the national flower, the hibiscus.
The two rampant tigers supporting the shield are traditional Malay symbols. They are retained from the earlier armorial ensign of the Federation of Malaya, and prior to that of the Federated Malay States. They symbolize strength and courage.
The motto of the arms, located below the shield, consists of a banner with the phrase "Unity is Strength" (Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu) written in both romanized Malay and Jawi. The original English phrase was replaced by romanised Malay some time after independence.
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