state crest Singapore’s present coat of arms was introduced on 3 December 1959, together with the national flag and national anthem, and was unveiled at the installation of the Yang di- Pertuan Negara (head of state), Yusof Ishak, on the steps of City Hall. This symbolized the attainment of statehood for Singapore. Prior to this, the coat of arms that had been used to represent Singapore was the British Royal Coat of Arms, featuring the lion and unicorn.

The state crest was designed by a committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye. The crest consists of a shield emblazoned with a white crescent moon and five white stars against a red background. The red symbolizes universal brotherhood and equality, while the white signifies purity and virtue. The five stars represent five ideals: democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. Supporting the shield are a lion on the left and a tiger on the right. Below the shield is a banner inscribed with the Republic’s motto: ‘Majulah Singapura’ (‘Onward Singapore’). The lion represents Singapore while the tiger represents Singapore’s historical links with the Malay Peninsula. The state crest cannot be used for any advertisement or other commercial purpose. Only government bodies may display the crest within their premises.

Photo credit: National Archives of Singapore

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