Nii Amon Kotei: Meet the designer of Ghana’s symbolic Coat of Arms

Nii Amon Kotei: Meet the designer of Ghana’s symbolic Coat of Arms

- Nii Amon Kotei was the designer of Ghana's Coat of Arms which was introduced on March 4, 1957

- He was a renowned Ghanaian artist, sculptor and painter

- Nii Amon Kotei was born on May 24, 1915, at La in Accra

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Nii Amon Kotei was a renowned artist, sculptor, painter and musician who became famous for his works including Ghana's Coat of Arms.

Born on May 24, 1915, at La in Accra, and trained as a surveyor, he became distinguished as the designer of the Coat of Arms which was introduced on March 4, 1957.

Kotei was commissioned to design the Coat of Arms by Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the then British Colonial administration as independence drew near in 1957.

Ghana's Coat of Arms symbolises government’s sanction and it is found at important government institutions like the Osu Castle, the Courts and other government offices.

It is found on all government official letterheads.

It is composed of a shield, divided into four quarters by a green St. George’s Cross, rimmed with gold.

However, it has not been changed and remains just as it was originally produced by Amon Kotei.

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Symbols in the Quarters and their Meanings.

1. Crossed linguist staff and ceremonial sword on a blue background

Position: Top left-hand quarter.

Represents local administration

2. A heraldic castle on a heraldic sean with a light blue background

Position: Top right-hand quarter.

Represents National Government

3. Cocoa Tree

Position: Bottom left-hand quarter.

Represents the Agricultural wealth of the country

4. Mine Shaft

Position: Bottom right-hand quarter.

Represents the mineral wealth of the country.

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5. Gold Lion

Position: In the center of the green St. George’s Cross.

Represents the continued link between Ghana and the Commonwealth

6. Black five-pointed star rimmed with gold standing on the wreath of red, gold and green colours

Position: Surmounting (On top of) the shield.

Represents the lodestar of African Freedom

7. Two Eagles, around each of whose neck hangs a black star suspended from a ribbon of Ghana colours – red, gold and green

Position: Supporting the shield (Coat of Arms).

Signifies a protector with strength, very clear and attentive eyes keeping watch over the country

8. The motto FREEDOM AND JUSTICE is found beneath the shield.

Nii Amon Kotei studied under a scholarship at Achimota School and later received a scholarship to study art at the London School of Printing and Graphic Art from 1949 to 1952.

Kotei also fought for the Royal West African Frontier Force during World War II and also worked in the Cartographic Division of the Army.

He drew maps and plans for use by soldiers on the war front. He also taught in Achimota School.

Amon Kotei was awarded the State Honour of Grand Medal, Civil Division, Coat of Arms Design presented to him on Friday, 7 March 1997, by then president Jerry John Rawlings. He received several other awards.

Nii Amon Kotei died on October 17, 2011.

In another story, Princess Ewurabena Pokou was Queen and founder of the Baoule tribe in West Africa, now Ivory Coast.

Queen Pokou ruled over a branch of the powerful Ashanti Empire as it expanded westward.

A subgroup of the Akan people, the Baoule people are today one of the largest ethnic groups in modern Ivory Coast.

Her father was a warrior who was not documented because he had no royal lineage. Princess Pokou gained her royalty through the matrilineal culture of the Ashantis.

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