Coat of arms are interesting. I was comparing them when something struck me. Starting with the oldest (in this comparison) is that of the United Kingdom.
I found this image that is meant to represent England interesting. First it has two animals, one mythical and one that does not naturally live in the UK. I can understand the Lion, being the king of the jungle and the royalty in the UK. They say the unicorn is a Scottish unicorn but that still does not explain why they use a mythical image?
To me, at least the Australian coat of arms has two animals that are native to Australia!
This is the original NZ coat of arms. The first (in this comparison) to include people instead of animals as the main characters. However what I find really interesting is comparing this old coat of arms, with the new one (below).
I like the change in orientation of the people. Instead of facing away from each other (ignoring each other?) they are now facing each other, perhaps in anticipation of creating some dialogue over the ownership of the land and how to live together in peace?
One of my favourite Maori proverbs is:
Ui mai koe ki ahau he aha te mea nui o te ao, Māku e kī atu he tangata, he tangata, he tangata!
Ask me what is the greatest thing in the world, I will reply: It is people, it is people, it is people!
It’s nice to see that NZ has people on its coat of arms. The people of the land are what it is all about and we should consider that instead of cuddly furry animals. While they are iconic of the country, it is the people that make the difference.