Argent, two horses combatant forcene Argent, in saltire two spears sable, on an inescutcheon per fess gules and vert, a mullet of five points Or, and in chief a ribbon Argent bearing the words 'Burkina Faso' in letters Or, and in base a like ribbon bearing the words 'Unité, Progrès, Justice' , likewise in letters Gold, and an open book proper between ears of corn, also proper, issuant from the ribbon.
The coat of arms of Burkina Faso contains a shield based on the national flag. Above the shield the name of the country is shown, while below it is the national motto, Unité, Progrès, Justice (French for "Unity, Progress, Justice"). The supporters are two white stallions. The two plants emerging from the lower banner appear to represent pearl millet, an important cereal grain cultivated in this country where agriculture represents 32% of the gross domestic product. This coat of arms is similar to the old Upper Volta coat of arms (see below), with the Burkina Faso flag replacing the Upper Volta flag in the middle.
Thomas Sankara's 1983-1987 Burkinabé revolution implemented an emblem featuring a crossed mattock and AK-47 (an allusion to the Hammer and Sickle), with the motto La Patrie ou la Mort, nous vaincrons ("Fatherland or death, we shall overcome"').
This somewhat resembles the current emblem, except that the enclosing shield has a blue background, the inescutcheon is based on the flag of Upper Volta with the superimposed letters "RHV" (for République de Haute-Volta), and the motto was Unité, Travail, Justice ("Unity, Labour, Justice").
^Guide to the Flags of the World by Mauro Talocci, revised and updated by Whitney Smith (ISBN 0-688-01141-1), p. 125.