Coat of arms of Saint Helena
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|Coat of arms of Saint Helena|
|Motto||"Loyal and unshakable"|
The arms feature a shield, with the top third showing the national bird, the Saint Helena plover (Charadrius sanctaehelenae), known locally as the wirebird – stylized, but with its unmistakable head pattern. The bottom two thirds depict a coastal scene of the island, a three-masted sailing ship with the mountainous island to the left. The coastal scene is taken from the colonial seal of the colony and shows the flag of England flying from the ship (when the shield was first introduced in 1874 the flag was a White Ensign).
The motto is Loyal and unshakable. The full coat of arms features, above the shield, a woman holding a cross and a flower. This represents Helena of Constantinople, also known as Saint Helena, after whom the island is named. The cross is shown as Helena is credited with finding the relics of the True Cross (cross upon which Jesus was crucified).
The coat of arms was altered in 2019. The general features were kept, but their form was altered slightly, and several of the colours used were simplified. The green was removed, leaving the sea blue and white, and the rocky coast was re-coloured in shades of brown. The ship was redrawn with grey and black hull and brown masts, and the plover was also re-drawn, with its background changed from yellow to sandy brown. The changes were agreed by the Executive Council on 26 March 2019 and officially adopted on 29 April. These changes more accurately reflect the colours as outlined in the St Helena Government Gazette of January 1984.
Arms usage by dependencies
The arms were also used by Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha when they were dependencies of Saint Helena before 2009. Tristan da Cunha was granted its own arms in 2002 and Ascension Island was granted its own arms in 2012.
- Coat of arms of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- List of coats of arms of the United Kingdom and dependencies