The coat of arms of The Gambia has been in use since 18 November 1964. It depicts two lions holding an axe and hoe, supporting a shield that depicts another pair of hoe and axe, crossed. Atop the shield is set the heraldic helmet and an oil palm as a crest. At the bottom is the national motto: Progress – Peace – Prosperity.
The two lions represent the colonial history of The Gambia as part of the British Empire. The crossed axe and hoe represent the importance of agriculture to The Gambia. They are also considered to represent the two major ethnic groups of The Gambia: the Mandinka and the Fulani. The crest, a palm tree, is also a vital national tree.
The design was created by Nicholas Potin, a government employee with the Department of Surveys, who won a national competition to design it.