Coat of arms of Malta

The coat of arms of Malta is the national coat of arms of the country of Malta.

The present coat of arms is described by the Emblem and Public Seal of Malta Act of 1988 as a shield showing an heraldic representation of the national flag of Malta; above the shield a mural crown in gold with a sally port and five turrets representing the fortifications of Malta and denoting a city-state; and around the shield a wreath of two branches: the dexter of olive, the sinister of palm, symbols of peace and traditionally associated with Malta, all in their proper colours, tied at base with a white ribbon, backed red and upon which are written the words Repubblika ta' Malta (“Republic of Malta” in Maltese) in capital letters in black.[1]

Flag of the President of Malta
Flag of the President of Malta

The national coat of arms also appears on the flag of the President of Malta.

The various coats of arms appear on passports, excise stamps, official documents and various other uses. Many Maltese coins feature a coat of arms, most notably the second series of the Maltese lira, some Maltese euro coins, and many gold or silver commemorative coins (either denominated in the Maltese lira or in Euro). Coats of arms were featured various times on Maltese postage stamps as well.

Coat of arms of Malta
Coat of arms of Malta
ArmigerRepublic of Malta
CrestA mural crown with a sally port and five vedettes.
BlazonFlag of Malta: Per pale argent and gules, a representation of George Cross argent fimbriated gules in Dexter Chief
SupportersDexter, An olive branch; sinister, a palm branch in vert all in their proper colours, tied at base with a ribbon argent, backed gules and upon which is written in capital letters sable the name of the country in the Maltese language.
MottoRepubblika ta' Malta

Coats of arms between 1800 and 1964

Malta was a British protectorate from 1800 to 1813 and a colony from 1813 to 1964. The coat of arms used in Malta were the arms of Great Britain:

Coat of Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801)


Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1801-1816)


Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1816-1837)


Coat of arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952)


Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom


However, Malta had three colonial badges between 1875 and 1964. The first (1875 – c. 1898) showed a white Maltese cross on a white and red panel, the second (c. 1898 – 1943) showed a white and red shield (like the arms of Mdina), and the third (1943–1964) was like the 1898 arms, but with a George Cross on a blue canton on the white half. All three badges were featured on the Maltese state ensigns:

Flag of Malta (1875–1898)

1875 – c. 1898

Flag of Malta (1898–1923)

c. 1898 – 1943[a]

Flag of Malta (1943–1964)


Coat of arms between 1964 and 1975

Coat of arms of Malta 1964-1975
Coat of arms of Malta from 1964 to 1975
Coat of arms of of the Governor-General of Malta
Coat of arms of the Governor-General of Malta

This coat of arms was adopted upon independence on 21 September 1964. It depicts two dolphins which support a blazon of the Maltese flag, one with palm branch and the other with an olive twig representing victory and peace respectively. Above is a mural crown shaped like a fort with five octagonal turrets surmounts a helmet, with red and white ribbons. Below are blue waves representing the surrounding Mediterranean Sea, the Maltese eight-pointed Cross representing the connection with the Order of St. John as well as courage and determination. The ribbon under the shield has the motto Virtute et Constantia (by Valour and Firmness). Nowadays, this motto is used by the National Order of Merit.

A version with St Edward's Crown instead of the mural crown was also used, and this served as the coat of arms of the Governor-General of Malta.[2]

Emblem between 1975 and 1988

Coat of Arms of Malta 1975-1988
Coat of Arms of Malta from 1975 to 1988

This emblem was adopted on the 11 July 1975, seven months after Malta became a republic. It showed a coastal scene with the rising sun, a traditional Maltese boat, a shovel and a pitchfork, and an Opuntia. All of these symbols are somewhat connected to Malta. Underneath the image the then new name of the state Repubblika ta' Malta (Republic of Malta) was written.

The Maltese Prime Minister, Dom Mintoff, had wanted to change the 1964 coat of arms since he mistook the mural crown as representing royalty and therefore had no place on republican Malta's coat of arms.[2] Mintoff chose a class of art students taught by Esprit Barthet to create a design to be used on the covers of passports, and a design by Edward Abela was chosen. A final design was agreed upon and the new passports (commonly known as the Gaddafi passports due to their green colour) were printed and the design was officially adopted as the emblem of Malta.[2]

The emblem was controversial since it was not heraldic, and it was replaced by the current coat of arms soon after the Nationalists won the 1987 election. It was proposed that the 1964 coat of arms be readopted, but eventually a simplified version of it was chosen. The new coat of arms was designed by Adrian Strickland who prepared preliminary sketches, and Robert Calì who finished the design.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "Flags, Symbols and their uses". Government of Malta. Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Bonello, Giovanni (8 May 2011). "Malta's three national emblems since independence – what's behind them?". Times of Malta. Retrieved 28 September 2014.


  1. ^ Different flag was adopted in 1923 but the arms remained the same.

External links

Auberge de Provence

Auberge de Provence (Maltese: Berġa ta' Provenza) is an auberge in Valletta, Malta. It was built in the sixteenth century to house knights of the Order of Saint John from the langue of Provence. It now houses the National Museum of Archaeology.

Banner of arms

A banner of arms is a type of heraldic flag which has the same image as a coat of arms, i.e. the shield of a full heraldic achievement, rendered in a square or rectangular shape of the flag.The term is derived from the terminology of heraldry but mostly used in vexillology. Examples of modern national flags which are banners of arms are the flags of Austria, Iraq, and Switzerland.

The banner of arms is sometimes simply called a banner, but a banner is in a more strict sense a one of a kind personal flag of a nobleman held in battle.

Compartment (heraldry)

In heraldry, a compartment is a design placed under the shield, usually rocks, a grassy mount (mount vert), or some sort of other landscape upon which the supporters are depicted as standing. Care must be taken to distinguish true compartments from items upon which supporters are merely resting one or more feet, or, sometimes, mere heraldic badges or pure decoration under the shield, and, conversely, care must also be taken in very unusual cases such as the coat of arms of Belize, in which what may be taken to be a crest, the mahogany tree rising above the shield, is really part of the compartment. It is sometimes said to represent the land held by the bearer. As an official part of the blazon it is a comparatively late feature of heraldry, often derived from the need to have different supporters for different families or entities, although sometimes the compartment is treated in the blazon separately from the supporters.


A dgħajsa (Maltese pronunciation: [dɐɪsɐ], pl. dgħajjes [dɐɪjɛs]) is a traditional water taxi from Malta. The design of the dgħajsa, like that of another Maltese boat, the luzzu, possibly dates back to Phoenician times, although it was modified over time, especially during British rule in Malta.

Flag of Malta

The flag of Malta (Maltese: Bandiera ta' Malta) is a basic bi-colour, with white in the hoist and red in the fly. A representation of the George Cross, awarded to Malta by George VI of the United Kingdom in 1942, is carried, edged with red, in the canton of the white stripe.

High Commission of Malta in the United Kingdom

The High Commission of Malta in the United Kingdom (Maltese: Kummissjoni Għolja ta' Malta għar-Renju Unit) is the diplomatic mission of Malta in the United Kingdom. It is located in Malta House on Piccadilly, near Piccadilly Circus in London .

Historical flags of the British Empire and the overseas territories

The Historical flags of the British Empire and the overseas territories refers to the various flags that were used across the various Dominions, Crown Colonies, Protectorates, territories which made up the British Empire and current Overseas territories. Early flags that were used across the Empire (In particular the then Thirteen Colonies which would later become the United States of America) tended to variations of the Red and Blue Ensigns of Great Britain with no colonial badges or coat of arms attached to them. In the first half of the 19th Century, the first colonies started to acquire their own colony badges, but it was not until the 1860s when legislation was passed by the UK Parliament that the colonies were encouraged to apply for their own emblems.

Malta Independence Fiftieth Anniversary Medal

The Malta Independence Fiftieth Anniversary Medal is a national commemorative medal of the Republic of Malta. The medal is awarded by the President of Malta to recognize contributions to the development and well-being of Malta as a nation and a member of the international community of nations since the State of Malta gained independence in 1964. The medal, which may be awarded posthumously, has been awarded to former Presidents, Prime Ministers, and other notable Maltese politicians.

Maltese euro coins

Maltese euro coins feature three separate designs for the three series of coins. Malta has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004, and is a member of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union. Malta adopted the euro as its official currency on 1 January 2008, replacing the Maltese lira. For a period of one month until 31 January, there was a dual circulation for Malta where the Euro and Maltese lira were used alongside each other.

Maltese heraldry

Maltese heraldry is heraldry with its special local traditions used in Malta.

Maltese passport

The Maltese passport (Maltese: passaport Malti) is a passport that is issued to citizens of Malta. Every Maltese citizen is also a citizen of the European Union. The passport, along with the national identity card allows for free rights of movement and residence in any of the states of the European Economic Area, as well as Switzerland.

Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika

The Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika (Medal for Service to the Republic) is a medal of the Republic of Malta. The medal is awarded by the President of Malta, with the written approval of the Prime Minister of Malta, for distinguished service to Malta. The award is presented to Maltese citizens and organizations, but may be awarded to foreigners on an honorary basis for service which merits recognition. No more than ten Maltese citizens may be awarded the medal over the course of a year. The medal may be awarded posthumously.Recipients of the medal are entitled to use the post-nominal M.Q.R.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Malta)

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Maltese: Ministeru tal-Affarijiet Barranin), formerly called the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is responsible for maintaining Malta's external relations and the management of its international diplomatic missions. The current Minister for foreign affairs is Carmelo Abela. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is currently housed at Palazzo Parisio, a historic building situated in Merchants Street, Valletta.

National Order of Merit (Malta)

The National Order of Merit is a state order of the Republic of Malta. The order is divided into four grades that may be awarded to Maltese citizens. The grade of Companion of Honour of the National Order of Merit is the highest honour that the government of Malta may confer upon its citizens. Citizens of other countries may be awarded the order on an honorary basis.

National symbols of Malta

This article is a vexillological summary of all flags and symbols in current use by the island nation of Malta. More information on the history of the various flags and emblems, as well as on their equivalents which are no longer in use, is found on the specific articles, linked to in the subtitle headings.

Norman invasion of Malta

The Norman invasion of Malta was an attack on the island of Malta, then inhabited by Muslims, by forces of the Norman County of Sicily led by Roger I in 1091. The invaders besieged Medina (modern Mdina), the main settlement on the island, but the inhabitants managed to negotiate peace terms. The Muslims freed Christian captives, swore an oath of loyalty to Roger and paid him an annual tribute. Roger's army then sacked Gozo and returned to Sicily with the freed captives.

The attack did not bring about any major political change, but it paved the way for the Christianization of Malta which began in 1127. Over the centuries, the invasion of 1091 was romanticized as the liberation of Christian Malta from oppressive Muslim rule, and a number of traditions and legends arose from it, such as the unlikely claim that Count Roger gave his colours red and white to the Maltese as their national colours.


Opuntia, commonly called prickly pear, is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae. Prickly pears are also known as tuna (fruit), sabra, nopal (paddle, plural nopales) from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit; or paddle cactus. The genus is named for the Ancient Greek city of Opus, where, according to Theophrastus, an edible plant grew and could be propagated by rooting its leaves. The most common culinary species is the Indian fig opuntia (O. ficus-indica).

Outline of Malta

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Malta:

Malta is a small and densely populated sovereign island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta comprises an archipelago of seven islands, of which the three largest are inhabited. Malta is located 93 km (58 mi) south of Sicily, and 288 km (179 mi) north of North Africa, giving the country a warm, Mediterranean climate. The nation's capital is the 16th century city of Valletta.

Throughout much of its history, Malta has been considered a crucial location due in large part to its position in the Mediterranean Sea. It was held by several ancient cultures including Sicilians, Romans, Phoenicians, Byzantines and others. The island is commonly associated with the Knights of St. John who ruled it. This, along with the historic pseudo-historic and religiously claimed shipwreck of St. Paul on the island, and since the 12th century ingrained a Roman Catholic legacy which is still the official religion in Malta today combined with secular values.

The country's official languages are Maltese and English, the former is the national language and the latter a legacy from Malta's period as a British colony. Malta gained independence in 1964 and is currently a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as the European Union, which it joined in 2004.

Sally port

A sally port is a secure, controlled entryway to a fortification or prison. The entrance is usually protected by some means, such as a fixed wall on the outside, parallel to the door—which must be circumvented to enter and prevents direct enemy fire from a distance. It may include two sets of doors that can be barred independently to further delay enemy penetration.

From around 1600 to 1900, a sally port was a sort of dock where boats picked up or dropped off ship crews from vessels anchored offshore. That meaning occasionally still occurs, especially in coastal Great Britain.

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