Emblem of Eritrea

Emblem of Eritrea
Armiger State of Eritrea
Adopted 24 May 1993
Motto ሃገረ ኤርትራ (Tigrinya)
The State of Eritrea (English)
دولة إرتريا، (Arabic)

The national emblem of Eritrea was adopted 24 May 1993 on the occasion of the declaration of independence from Ethiopia. The emblem mainly depicts a camel surrounded by a wreath of laurel.

Present emblem

The modern emblem of Eritrea was adopted 24 May 1993, the date of the declaration of independence from Ethiopia. It shows a scene of a dromedary camel in the desert, which is surrounded by an olive wreath. The camel was the beast of burden used during the war of independence from Ethiopia to transport supplies and goods, and was seen as being instrumental to the movement's success by Eritrean nationalists.[1] The name of the country appears on a scroll towards the bottom of the emblem threefold, in Tigrinya, English and Arabic, three widely spoken languages in the country.[2]


Eritrea was first assigned a coat of arms in 1919, when it was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy. The shield was parted in half horizontally, with the top portion displaying a red lion charged on his breast with a white star and the bottom half divided into six wavy bars alternating blue and white. The red lion represents the Italian Kingdom, lions alluding to the Italian King who used the beasts as supporters and red being a common colour associated with Italy and also used by the ruling House of Savoy. The star has long been a symbol of the Italian people, known as the Stellone d'Italia, which protects and guards the nation. The bottom portion displaying blue and white wavy bars is a common heraldic depiction representing water, and alludes to the origins of the colony's name. Eritrea is derived from the Latin Erythræa, the name applied to the Red Sea in antiquity; the colony was named so for its coastline along that body of water.[2]

During the Fascist regime of Italy, which began in 1924, the arms were augmented with symbols of the new government: a red chief was added in 1936, which was charged with fasces and laurel wreath. Eritrea was then absorbed into the colony of Italian East Africa in 1936, reducing it to a province of the new and larger colony. The arms of Eritrea made up one field in the arms of Italian East Africa, but without the chief added in 1936. In 1941, when the province was conquered and placed under British administration, the fascist chief was removed and the original arms were again employed. In 1951, the process of annexation by Ethiopia began, and the arms continued in use until the following year.[2]

During the annexation period, from 1952 to 1962, an emblem was adopted that consisted of a vertical olive branch encircled by an olive wreath. This emblem is used still on the nation's flag.[2]

The heraldic achievement
of the Italian colony of
Eritrea from 1919 to 1936.
The coat of arms of
colonial and provincial
Eritrea from 1936 to 1941.
The heraldic device of the
British administration of
Eritrea from 1941 to 1952.
The emblem of Eritrea during
Ethiopian annexation from
1952 to 1962.

See also


  1. "Eritrean Government". Embassy of The State of Eritrea, Stockholm. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "National Arms of Eritrea". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
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