The Jamaica Coat of Arms
The Meaning Behind This national Symbol

Jamaica Coat of Arms On One Dollar Coin

The Jamaica coat of arms is very symbolic to Jamaicans. It represents where we are coming from and what we are about.

I have noticed that it is not as popular as the other national symbols of Jamaica, even though it is filled with so much history and significance.

Let’s take a look at what it means to us.

Jamaica Coat of Arms

The Jamaican Coat of Arms is very important to us because it represents where we are coming from and who we are today.

To better understand the Coat of Arms, let us take a look at the meaning of each symbol and what each symbol represents.

  • Crocodile- at the top of the Coat of Arms sits a crocodile. This animal was renowned as the indigenous reptile in Jamaica. Even today, the sight of a crocodile while attract a large crowd of locals and foreigners.
  • Royal Helmet and Mantlings- represents a legacy from England.

  • Pineapples- Below the helmet and mantling you will see five pineapples inside a shield. I am not sure of the significance of the number “5” but I know that the pineapple was known as the indigenous fruit.
  • Tainos- to the left and right of the shield containing the pineapples you will find a female and male taino respectively. Significance of the Tainos lies in the fact that they were the first inhabitants of Jamaica.
  • The Motto- the Tainos are standing on our motto, which reads, “Out of Many One People”. Jamaica is a multi cultural island with many roots and racial backgrounds.

People from many countries, especially the United States of America, can relate to our motto because they have the same meaning as us.

No matter how different we are and our ethnic background, we are all one people regardless of where we come from we move forward together.

As I mentioned before, the Jamaican Coat of Arms is the least popular national symbol yet we see it every day without realizing that we always have it in our possession.

That is because all coins and paper money have this symbol printed on the front (paper money) or on the back (coins).

Fact: Did you know that before Jamaica’s independence the Coat of Arms was on the National Flag?

Back of Ajmaican coins with Jamaica coat of Arms

The Jamaican Coat of Arms has undergone several changes over the years.

Between 1875 and 1906, the symbol only had the crocodile, the helmet and the pineapples. The pineapples were inside a circle.

From 1906 to 1957, the Tainos and the Jamaican motto were added, and the crocodile was standing on a log.

In 1957, the helmet and mantling were added and then in 1962, after independence, the gold colour was added to the motto.

So when was the first coat of arms made? If your answer is 1661 or 1662, you are correct.

Before 1752, the New Year always began on March 25th. So the symbol was created in 1661 back then, even though it was actually 1662.

The Jamaica Coat of Arms is very important to us because it represents our history and our future.

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