National Arms of Burkina Faso

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Heraldry of the World
Civic heraldry of Burkina Faso
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National arms of Burkina Faso

Arms of National Arms of Burkina Faso

Official blazon

Origin/meaning

The arms were adopted in August 1997.

The arms show a shield with the composition of the flag. Above the shield a ribbon with the name of the country, and below the motto Unité, Progrès, Liberté (Unity, Progress, Liberty). Two white horses are used as supporters, and the shield is surrounded by two spears, a book and shorghum.

The oldest arms for the country were designed after independence and adopted on May 4, 1961. The former French colony did not use arms. The arms were similar in design as the present arms, the flag as shield, two horses as supporters and some tools, spears and two plants around the shield. The motto was Unité, Travail, Justice (Unity, Labour, Justice). The letters RHV on the flag stand for République Haute-Volta.

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The arms from 1961-67.

In 1967 the arms were simplified, the whole composition was taken from the shield and the European-style shield was replaced by a more traditional shield. All other elements remained, but the letters RHV were removed.

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The arms from 1967-84.

The arms were replaced in 1984 by a socialist-style logo. The logo showed a crossed Kalaschnikov gun and axe, surrounded by a cogwheel, book, star and shorghum. On the book the texts : "Burkina, Fasokeno, Kamba, Bibbe" and "Faso, A Ye Wihi, Yiky Ya! und Ukame Nete" are seen (I don't know the translation). The new motto 'La patrie ou la mort nous vaincrons' means 'Country or death, we will succeed'.

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The logo from 1984

In 1997 the logo was abandoned and a variation of the old arms was adopted.


Literature : Images and information taken from www.christian-siemer.de/wappen/afrika/burkina-faso.htm