Coat of arms of Penang

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Coat of arms of Penang
Coat of arms of Penang.svg
Crest"Areca-nut palm leaved and fructed Proper"
Motto"Bersatu dan Setia"

The civic coat of arms of Penang is largely based on the coat of arms of Penang first granted to the Settlement (now State) of Penang, then in the Federation of Malaya, by a Royal Warrant of King George VI dated 11 September 1949.

Between 1911 (the date of a previous Royal Warrant) and 1946, when the colony of the Straits Settlements was dissolved, the Settlement was represented in the Straits Settlements' coat of arms by the second quarter, Argent on a mount an areca nut palm tree Proper. The Areca-nut palm is the tree from which Penang (Pulau Pinang, Malay: "Areca-nut-palm Island") derives its name.

Settlement and state arms[edit]

Original coat of arms of Penang, with motto added in 1950

The coat of arms as granted was blazoned:[1]

Shield: Barry wavy of eight Azure and Argent upon a chief crenellée Or a plume of three ostrich feathers surmounted by a riband of the First on the riband the words Ich Dien in letters of the Third
Crest: On a wreath of the Colours upon a mount a Pinang or Areca-nut palm leaved and fructed Proper.

The Prince of Wales's feathers and the motto Ich Dien referred to the fact that Penang was founded in 1786 as the Prince of Wales Island, while the blue and white bars are in reference to the Malacca Straits that surround Penang Island, separating it from Province Wellesley (now Seberang Perai) on the mainland.

The Areca-nut palm on the crest represents the origins of the Island's name.

The motto Bersatu dan Setia (Malay: "United and Loyal") was adopted by the Settlement Council of Penang in 1950.[2] As this was during the height of the Penang secessionist movement, the motto may have implied loyalty to the British crown, rather than to the Federation of Malaya.[3] Penang also has an unofficial motto, "Let Penang Lead".[4]

Present-day state arms[edit]

Subsequently, after the construction of the Penang Bridge in 1982-1985, the state coat of arms was changed to the present design,[5] which can be blazoned as:

Shield: Barry wavy of ten Azure and Argent upon a chief Or a depiction of the Penang Bridge Proper
Crest: On a wreath of the Colours upon a mount a Pinang or Areca-nut palm leaved and fructed Proper
Motto: "Bersatu dan Setia".

Historical state arms[edit]

Coat of arms Duration Political entity Description Notes
Coat of arms of the East India Company.svg
1786–1826 British East India Company Shield: "Argent a cross Gules; in the dexter chief quarter an escutcheon of the arms of France and England quarterly, the shield ornamentally and regally crowned."

Crest: "A lion rampant guardant Or holding between the forepaws a regal crown proper."

Supporters: "Two lions rampant guardant Or, each supporting a banner erect Argent, charged with a cross Gules."

Motto: Auspicio Regis et Senatus Angliæ (Latin: By right of the King and the Senate of England)

In use when the British East India Company first established control over Penang in 1786
Coat of arms of the Straits Settlements.svg 1826–1941, 1945–1946 Straits Settlements Shield: "Quarterly, the first quarter gules, issuant from the base a tower proper, on the battlements thereof a lion passant guardant Or; the second quarter argent, on a mount an areca nut palm tree proper; the third quarter also argent a sprig of the oil tree keruing proper; the fourth quarter azure in base on waves of the sea in front of a representation of the sun rising behind a mountain, a sailing yacht in full sail to the sinister, all proper."

Crest: "A demi-lion rampant guardant supporting in the paws a staff proper, thereon flying to the sinister a banner azure, charged with three imperial crowns."

The "second quarter argent" containing an areca nut palm tree on a mount represented Penang
Imperial Seal of Japan.svg 1941–1945 Empire of Japan A yellow or orange chrysanthemum with black or red outlines and background. Within the chrysanthemum, a central disc surrounded by a front set of 16 petals. A rear set of 16 petals, visible at the edges of the flower, is half staggered in relation to the front set. Used during the period of Japanese occupation
Coat of arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg 1946–1949 British Empire Shield: "Quarterly, First and Fourth Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or armed and langued Azure (for England), Second quarter Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory counter-flory Gules (for Scotland), Third quarter Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland), the whole surrounded by the Garter."

Crest: "Upon the Royal helm the Imperial Crown Proper, thereon a Lion statant gardant Or imperially crowned Proper; Mantling Or and Ermine."

Supporters: "Dexter a Lion rampant gardant Or crowned as the Crest, sinister a Unicorn Argent armed, crined and unguled Proper, gorged with a Coronet Or composed of Crosses patées and Fleurs-de-lis a Chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or."

Motto: "Dieu et mon Droit (Latin: God and my right) in the compartment below the shield, with the Union Rose, Shamrock and Thistle engrafted on the same stem."

In use when Penang became a separate crown colony upon the dissolution of the Straits Settlements
Coat of arms of the City Council of George Town

City council arms[edit]

George Town City Council[edit]

The arms of the Municipal Council (from 1 January 1957, City Council) of George Town were granted by the English College of Arms on 4 September 1953,[6] based on the arms of the Settlement of Penang:

Shield: Barry wavy of eight Azure and Argent a plume of three ostrich feathers Proper tied with a riband Or a chief embattled of the Last
Crest: On a wreath of the Colours issuant from a wreath of palm Vert a lion passant guardant Azure
Motto: "Leading We Serve"

The motto is a combination of the motto of the Prince of Wales, Ich Dien (I serve), and the unofficial motto of Penang, "Let Penang Lead".

Present-day coat of arms of the Penang Island City Council

Penang Island City Council[edit]

In 1974, the George Town City Council was merged with the Penang Island Rural District Council to form the Penang Island Municipal Council (now Penang Island City Council). The arms of the municipality is displayed on a native shield and contains much local symbolism, but generally conforms to traditional English heraldic principles, and may be blazoned as follows.[7]

Shield: Barry wavy of eight Azure and Argent a chief embattled Or overall a Pinang or areca-nut palm leaved and fructed Proper
Crest: On a wreath of the Colours mantled Vert doubled Or a crescent therefrom issuant a mullet of the Last
Supporters: On a compartment of waves barry wavy Azure and Argent issuant therefrom a mount Vert two dolphins hauriant torqued of the First finned Or
Motto: "Memimpin Sambil Berkhidmat" (Malay: "Leading We Serve")

The municipal arms is retained by the Penang Island City Council when it was accorded city status for the entire Penang Island in 2015, hence succeeding the Municipal Council.


  1. ^ Commonwealth Relations Office List. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 1960.
  2. ^ Penang Information Guide. Penang: K.H. Khaw. 1951.
  3. ^ A motion for Penang to secede from the Federation and to join Singapore as a separate British crown colony was narrowly defeated 15 votes to 10 in February 1949, mainly by the use of British official votes, see: Christie (1996). A Modern History of Southeast Asia: Decolonization, Nationalism and Separatism. London: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 1-86064-354-X.
  4. ^ Journal of the Parliaments of the Commonwealth. Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, General Council. 34. 1953 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Bendera dan Lambing Negara dan Negeri Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Information. 1963.
  6. ^ Heritage: George Town's original coat of arms
  7. ^ MPPP - Introduction/Logo Archived 9 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine