Nigerian Army Belt Buckle

We return to the former colony of Nigeria again today to look at another piece of militaria from its post independence army, in this case a parade buckle:

The buckle is made of base metal, with a gilding finish to make it look like gold. The buckle is square in profile and features the state coat of arms on it as a raised element.

The coat of arms of Nigeria consists of a black shield with a wavy white pall, symbolizing the meeting of the Niger and Benue Rivers at Lokoja. The black shield represents Nigeria’s fertile soil, while the two supporting horses or chargers on each side represent dignity. The eagle represents strength, while the green and white bands on the top of the shield represent the rich soil. The red flowers at the base are Costus spectabilis, Nigeria’s national flower. This flower was chosen for inclusion in the coat of arms as it is found all over Nigeria and also stand for the beauty of the nation.

The buckle has a loop to attach one end of the belt to and a hook to allow it to be fastened to the other:

Note also the backs of a pair of rivets used to secure the badge to the main buckle body. The buckles are of course used for ceremonial duties and worn with a white belt as part of the Nigerian Army’s green service dress uniform:

In close up the coat of arms can be clearly seen:

This is only the second piece of Nigerian Army equipment I have picked up, but hopefully I can find some more examples of militaria from post-colonial Africa as they are very interesting and not something we find very much in the UK.

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