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About Malaysia - National Emblem

The National Emblem of Malaysia (Jata Negara in Malay), or the Coat of Arms of Malaysia, comprises five major elements: a shield (as the escutcheon), two tigers (as supporters), a yellow crescent and a yellow 14-pointed star (as the crest or helm), and a banner (as the motto). As the Malaysian emblem descended from the coat of arms of the Federated Malay States (FMS) during British colonial rule, the current design of the Malaysian arms bears numerous elements of Western heraldry.

The National Emblem of Malaysia consists of a shield guarded by two supporters as rampant tigers. The shield is topped by a crest or helm consisting of a yellow crescent with a 14-pointed "federal star", and includes a motto, depicted as a banner, at the bottom.

Crest or helm (crescent and federal star)
The yellow colour of the crest or helm, a crescent and a 14-pointed federal star, symbolises the country's monarchy. The crescent also represents Islam as the official religion while the federal star represents the thirteen states and the Federal Territories of Malaysia. Originally, the fourteen-pointed star represented the original fourteen states of Malaysia, which included Singapore. It was not changed when Singapore left the federation, but it has generally been accepted that the 14th point represents the Federal Territories.

Escutcheon (shield)
The escutcheon, represented by a shield, is primarily intended to serve as a representation of states unified under the Malaysian federation, and is subdivided into ten divisions. The upper portion of the shield is entirely occupied by a single red field containing five krises, which represent the five former Unfederated Malay States, namely Johore, Terengganu, Kelantan, Kedah and Perlis. In the middle of the shield, below the row of krises, are 4 coloured divisions in red, black, white and yellow fields that symbolise the Federated Malay States. The permutations of the colours red, black, white and yellow make up the colors of these states' flags. Red, black and yellow are for Negeri Sembilan; black and white for Pahang; black, white and yellow for Perak; and red and yellow for Selangor. The remaining divisions contain insignias of the four remaining states. The Pinang palm along with the Penang Bridge on the left represents Penang while the "Malacca" tree on the right of the shield identifies Malacca. At the three center divisions of the shield's bottom, Sabah's coat of arms is included to the left while Sarawak's coat of arms is included to the right. The hibiscus flower between the coats of arms of Sabah and Sarawak is the national flower of Malaysia.

Supporters (tigers)
The two rampant tigers supporting the shield are traditional Malay symbols. They are retained from the earlier armorial ensign of the Federation of Malaya, and prior to that of the Federated Malay States. They symbolise strength and courage.

Motto (banner)
The motto of the arms, located below the shield, consists of a banner with the phrase "Unity is Strength" (Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu) written in both romanized Malay and Jawi. The original English words were replaced by Jawi some time after independence.