SOMALIA DEVELOPED FROM A STRING OF ARAB
SULTANATES ALONG THE northeast coast of Africa, which in turn had grown up
from trading posts established from the 17th century onwards. As Arab
influence waned, the British, French and Italians established protectorates
on the Somali coast during the late-19th century. These were the subjects of
various treaties, forged amid frequent border clashes between the colonial
powers and the neighbouring Ethiopians, and between the European powers
The north of today’s Somalia was conquered by the
British in 1884 and placed under the protection of the British crown. The east
was conquered in 1887 by the Italians. This part, called Benadir, was from 1897 until 1905 under
the jurisdiction of the Societa Commerciale
Italiana del Benadir which ceded it to
the Italian Government. The territory consisted of two colonies: Italian
Somaliland and Mogadishu. In 1941 it was occupied by the British and was
under British administration until 1949 when it became a United
Nations Trust Territory under Italian administration. In 1950 it was
rendered to the Italian government. On the 26th of june 1960 it became a
sovereign republic with the name of Repubblica Somala. On the first of July
of the same year the British part of Somaliland joined this republic.
From 21st of October 1969 Somalia is a Democratic
Republic (Repubblica Democratica Somala / Jamhooriyadda Dimoqraadiga
Soomaaliya). From 1976 the name of the country in Italian is left out and the
name is spelled in latin as well as in arabic lettering since then.
The regime of the Democratic Republic was ousted in
January 1991; turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy have followed in the
years since. In May of 1991, northern clans (in the former British
part) declared an independent Republic of
Somaliland that now includes the administrative regions of Awdal, Woqooyi
Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool. Although not recognized by any
government, this entity has maintained a stable existence, aided by the
overwhelming dominance of a ruling clan and economic infrastructure left
behind by British, Russian, and American military assistance programs. The
regions of Bari and Nugaal and northern Mudug comprise a neighboring
self-declared autonomous state of Puntland, which has been self-governing
since 1998, but does not aim at independence; it has also made strides
towards reconstructing a legitimate, representative government, but has
suffered some civil strife. Puntland disputes its border with Somaliland as
it also claims portions of eastern Sool and Sanaag.
The badge of British Somaliland, from 1903 flown on
the blue ensign, was a white disc with the head and shoulders of a great kudu
(Traghelaphus strepsiceros - Bovidæ), facing to the right. The great kudu is
an antilope common in Somalia.
By Royal Warrant of 18th of December 1950 the
protectorate was given a coat of arms.
In the arms the minaret on the green field
symbolizes the muslim immigrants. The dhow and the golden anchor
symbolize the trade and shipping in the Gulf of Aden, washing the shores of the protectorate. (The dhow
on the waves of the sea was the badge of Aden Protectorate, the anchor is the
symbol of the British Admiralty).
The shield and crossed spears are for the people of
In the achievement the head of the kudu from the
badge reappears as a crest. Between his horns is the British Imperial State
The achievement was
abolished on the 1st of July 1960
Drawing: Roberto Bresci
Per pale in the first Vert, a minaret Or, the second Azure two bars wavy
Argent, in chief a dhow sailing to the dexter and in base an anchor per pale
Or. And a chief Or, two spears in saltire charged with a Somalian shield
On a wreath Azure and Vert a kudu-head guardant, between its horns the
Imperial State crown.
Royal Warrant 18.12.1950
Somaliland Chief's Medal, 1937. Bronze oval,
49.8.3 mm. Obv. Crowned bust L.: GEORGE VI KING AND EMPEROR. Rev. by E. Carter
Preston, Antelope head ¾ L.: SOMALILAND
PROTECTORATE. Red-gold patina. 
The ancient Mnara-lighttower of Mo-gadishu as on a 19th c. picture. 
For the colony of Italian Somaliland a coat of arms
was adopted by decree of the 3rd of April 1919. It is parted per fess Azure
and Gules, a fess wavy Argent, in chief a panther (Panthera pardus - Felidæ)
passant guardant proper, above his head a five-pointed star Argent, and in
base two six-pointed stars Argent. On the shield is an antique crown of nine points.
For the colony of
Mogadishu a coat of arms was adopted on the same date. The decree for the
arms of Mogadishu Colony reads:
Mogadiscio (Colonia) Di rosso, all’antica sua
torre al naturale, fondata nel mare di argento con raggi dello stesso,
escenti dalle quattro aparture del foro, che è sulla cima della torre. Corona
da citta. (Decreto Lugotenenziale, 3 Aprile 1919 – RR.LL.PP. 9 Guigno 1919)
(I.e.: Gules, the ancient tower (of Mogadishu) proper, standing in a sea Argent, with rays Argent coming from the four windows in the upper part of the tower. Municipial Crown. No picture available)
In 1936 Somaliland
became a part of Italian East Africa (A.O.I.) and for the occasion the coat
of arms was augmented with a red chief
“of the fasces” (del littorio) which was the symbol of the Italian
State of the time. This consisted of a golden fasces surrounded by a garland
of branches of olive and oak proper.
Coat of arms of
Coat of arms of
The achievement of the Repubblica Somala was
adopted on the 10th of October 1956, even before the gaining of independence.
It is a white star on a blue field, crowned with a mural crown and supported
by two panthers, standing on two crossed palm-leaves and spears. Below the
achievement is an empty listel.
The white and blue are the colors of the United
Nations which administrated the colony until 1950. The five-pointed star
symbolizes the five territories inhabited by Somalians i.e. apart from
British and Italian Somaliland also Djibouti (French Somaliland), the Ogades
of Ethiopia and the North of Kenia.
The same achievement is used by the government of
the Democratic Republic of Somalia.
Azure, a five-pointed star Argent (within a bordure Or)
mural crown of five battlements Or.
Two panthers (Panthera pardus - Felidæ) proper.
Two native spears and two palm-leaves in saltire proper, intertwined with a
Æ See illustration in the head of this article.
National Intelligence and Security
Sugida Qaranka / National Security Service
Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms
As of 2016, Somalia is in
theory officially divided into 6 proposed regional states:
Note: Somaliland declared independence
in 1991 and has no relations with the Government of Somalia. Despite that, no
country has recognized Somaliland's independence. The Government of Somalia
considers Somaliland as a federal member state.
Four out of the 5 proposed
regional states (Puntland, Galmudug, Jubaland, South West State) have
submitted their nominations for candidates in the Upper House of Federal
The emerging Hir-Shabelle state
(merging Hiiraan and Middle
Shabelle regions) and Somaliland have yet to submit their Upper
House nominations. Somaliland politicians have refused to partake in the
The Republic of Somaliland
Reconstruction Hubert de Vries
The emblem of the Republic of Somaliland was, together with the flag, approved by the Conference of the Elders of the Somaliland
Communities on 14th of October 1996.
The Constitution of the Republic of Somaliland of 30 of April 2000
reads, for the flag and
7: The Flag, the Emblem and the National Anthem
The flag of the Republic of Somaliland shall consist of three horizontal,
parallel and equal sections, the top section of which is coloured green and
has inscribed in its midst in white in Arabic language (the phrase) La Ilaaho
Ila-Allaah Muhammad Rasuulah-Allaah
(There is no God, but Allah and Mohammad was his Prophet); the middle
section is white and has inscribed in its midst an equally sided five pointed
black star; and the bottom section is coloured clear red.
2. The emblem of the nation shall consist of
a coffee coloured falcon with (the words), in Arabic language, “ALLAHU AKBAR”
(God is great) inscribed on its breast. Below the eagle are two hands
shaking, and a set of scales hang above it and come down on both of its
sides. The falcon and the scales and hands are in turn surrounded on both
sides and below by two strands of green leaves intertwined at the base, and
with the Arabic words Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim inscribed at the top gap
between the two leaves.
For unknown reasons the words Allahu Akbar
on the disc were replaced by an (unreadable) image, and the color of the word Bismillah
was changed from brown to red
In the emblem the balance symbolizes Justice, the
coffee-coloured eagle holding the scales is a sign of Democracy, the two
clasped hands symbolize Equality and Freedom and the olive branches Peace.
The yellow background represents the bright and beautiful culture and people
of Somaliland. The word Bismillah means “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious,
Most Merciful” and symbolizes that Islam is the official religion of Somaliland
Galmudug, officially Galmudug
State, is an autonomous region in central Somalia. Galmudug's name is derived
from a conflation of the names of the Galgduud and
Galmudug consists of Galgaduud and southern half of Mudug region. However,
according to CIA Factbook
northern Mudug is part of Puntland. Unlike the secessionist Somaliland
region in northwestern Somalia, Galmudug is not
trying to obtain international recognition as a separate nation. It considers
itself an autonomous state within the larger Federal Republic of Somalia, as
defined by the provisional constitution of Somalia
Jubaland (Jubbaland,: جوبالاند), the Juba Valley (Dooxada Jubba) or Azania (Asaaniya, آزانيا), is an autonomous region in southern Somalia. Its eastern border lies 40–60 km east of the Jubba River, stretching from Gedo to the Indian Ocean, while its western side flanks the North Eastern Province in Kenya, which was carved out of Jubaland during the colonial period.
Maakhir (Goboleedka Maakhir, ماخرMaakhirian), officially the Maakhir State of Somalia (Maamul
Goboleedka Maakhiran; ولاية
ماخر الصومالWilaayatul baladul Maakhir balad- aṣ-Ṣūmmāal)
was an autonomous region in northern Somalia, situated in an area disputed by
the Somaliland and Puntland macro-regions. In January 2009, it was
incorporated into Puntland
Puntland (Dhul-Udug, أرض
officially the Puntland State of Somalia (Dowladda Puntland ee Soomaaliya, بونتلاند
دولة الصومال), is a region in
northeastern Somalia, centered on Garoowe in the Nugal province. Its leaders
declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998
© Hubert de Vries, 2008-10-12. Updated 2017-05-20
 Retrieved from an unknown internet source.
 "The Mosque of Abdul Aziz and the Mnara tower in Mogadishu in 1882'. From E.Cerulli, Somalia, Scritti Vari Editi ed Inediti, Vol. 1., Fig. XVI. Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, P.V., Rome, 1957. Figure is referenced as Dal Voyage chez les Benadirs di G. Revoil. Figure courtesy Library of Congress" (from page 138 of "Somalia in Word and Image", 1986, Ed by K.S. Loughran., J.L. Loughran., J.W. Johnson., S.S. Samatar. Published by the Foundation for Cross Cultural Understanding, Washington, D.C., and Indiana University Press). Retrieved from Wikipedia Commons.
 Rivista Araldica, 1933, p. 318 e.v.
 Bascapé, Giacomo & Marcello del Piazzo: Insege e
Simboli. Araldica Pubblica e privata medievale e moderna. Min. per beni
culturale e ambientali. Roma, 1983.
translation in English.