Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Ghana @ 50: THE PROFILES
The nation’s Coat of Arms
By: SLYVANUS NANA KUMI & G. BLAY GIBBAH
THE Coat of Arms was designed by one of Ghana’s most renowned Artists Mr. Amon Kotei, now, 91.
In a chat with the Times he explained how he came to be associated with the Coat of Arms.
He said in 1956, while working with the Government as a Graphic Artist, he was commissioned by the government to design a new Coat of Arms to replace that of the colonial government.
That one was used by all British West African countries and it had the picture of the elephant and palm tree.
“I was instructed to divide the shield into four parts and used the elephant’s skin as the symbol of chieftaincy, the Castle as seat of government, the mineral wealth of the country and our fertile land as motifs for the design, he said.
To aid him in his work, Mr. Kotei said he was given a big book containing various crests and Coat-of-Arms of countries around the world to study for him to be guided to design a unique Coat-of-Arms for Ghana.
After almost a month, he said he came up with a design and it was sent to the Queen’s College of Heraldry in United Kingdom for his work to be approved.
When it was returned, some minor changes had been made to it, Mr. Kotei said.
“In my design, the star was suspending but the College of Heraldry pushed it down to rest on the shield. In addition they a put miniature scroll around the eagle leg with the colours red, gold and green”, he added.
He noted that the end of the scroll bearing the motto “Freedom and Justice” was already flying but it was folded. “They (the British) also added the British lion to the design”, he said.
Mr. Kotei acknowledged that the changes made the design look better.
“After the final touches, the design was brought back to the Gold Coast with the following comment: “The College had the opportunity to view numerous crests but the one from Ghana came almost perfect”. Mr. Kotei said when the Coat-of Arms was sent to Gold Coast Cabinet it was brought back to him to remove the lion from it.
“I did that but to my surprise, it was returned again from Cabinet to restore the lion”, he said.
Mr. Amon Kotei was born on May 24, 1951 at La, Accra.
Excerpts from articles published in this paper on January 8, 2005.
THE GHANAIAN TIMES - Tuesday, March 6, 2007 Page: 41