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Castle stirs controversy over Coat of Arms


At the top right-hand quarter of the Coat of Arms, which is composed of a shield, divided into four quarters by a green St. George’s Cross, with gold at its edge is the heraldic castle on a heraldic sea with a light background which represents a presideCastle stirs controversy over Coat of Arms

The use of a castle in Ghana’s national emblem - the Coat of Arms, may no longer be tenable, due to the fact that the Osu Castle is no longer the seat of Government.

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This view has been shared by some Ghanaians, who have recommended a modification of the Coat of Arms, which signifies the seal and authority of the state.

Dr Bossman Asare, a lecturer at the Political Science Department and Dr Margaret Amoakohene, Director of the School of Communication Studies, both of the University of Ghana, as well as Prof. Dominic Fobih, a former Minister of Education and Member of Parliament, made the suggestion in separate interviews in Accra.

The Flagstaff House currently houses both the President and his Vice.

The Coat of Arms, which was designed by Mr Amon Kotei, who died in 2011 at age 96, has a picture of the Castle sitting on the Gulf of Guinea, and represents the presidential palace and national seat of government. This is captured by every history book and national documents and on the Internet, which can also be disputed because the state is no longer run from the Osu Castle.

Currently, the national Coat of Arms adorns every significant national document, including passports, national identity cards, currency notes and coins, driving licence, schools examination papers and so on. All state buildings, including the Castle, the Flagstaff House and Parliament display the Coat of Arms.

According to those interviewed, although the symbol was still relevant, its meaning ought to be amended to suit the current national development.

However, Dr Vladimir Antwi Danso, a Senior Fellow at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy, and a retired diplomat, Mr K. B. Asante, think that there should be no modification, and are of the opinion that history would correct itself.

History of the Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms is one of the most significant national emblems that can be found embossed on every important national asset including the cedi, state buildings, passports, national and voters’ ID cards.

Prior to Ghana's independence, there was the need for the nation to have its national emblems including the map, Coat of Arms, a national anthem and so on. Several competitions were held by the then government for artists to come up with such national symbols but no competition was held for the designing of the Coat of Arms because at the time, the nation urgently needed one.

However, in spite of the urgent need for the national emblem, it was so well crafted that it has since independence remained one of Ghana's most significant emblems.

Emblem design

The Coat of Arms is composed of a shield, divided into four quarters by a green St. George’s Cross, with gold at its edge.

There is a crossed linguist's staff and a ceremonial sword on a blue background which is at the top left-hand quarter, representing local administration and traditional authority.

It also has a heraldic castle on a heraldic sea with a light background at the top right-hand quarter which represents a presidential palace and national government.

At the bottom left-hand quarter is a cocoa tree, which represents the agricultural wealth of the country. A mine at the bottom right-hand quarter represents the mineral wealth of Ghana. There is a lion positioned in the centre of the Green St George’s Cross, representing the continuing link between Ghana and the Commonwealth.

There is also a black five-pointed star with gold at its edge, standing on the wreath of red, gold and green colours on the top of the shield, representing the lone star of African Freedom.

Two eagles, each with a black star hanging on its neck from a ribbon of Ghana's colours - red, gold and green, support the shield on the left and right-hand side. This signifies a protector with strength, very clear and attentive eyes keeping watch over the country. There is also the country's motto — freedom and justice — which represents national aspirations, written under the shield.

Source: Graphic Online



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