From a force of 18,000 in infantry battalions and supporting units at the end of World War II in 1945, the strength of the Nigerian Army rose to around 126,000 in three divisions by the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970. In terms of doctrine, the task of the Federal Nigerian Army has not changed; its task remains to close with and defeat an organised enemy. The Nigerian Army uses a flag that has three vertical stripes (red, black, and red). On it is the emblem of an Eagle, a six-pointed star, and the Arabic text.HistoryVille takes a look at the symbols and their meanings. The flag is flown at the Nigerian Army Headquarters, Abuja.THE EAGLEIt represents the graceful power of the Nigerian Army. Just like an eagle, the Nigerian Army maintains keen surveillance of the country during times of peace and in preparedness for an impending war. THE STARS The two interlaced triangle-like six-pointed stars are the first symbol of Nigerian unity and were first struck by Governor-General Lord Lugard in 1914, the year of Nigeria’s amalgamation, to show how the Northern and Southern Protectorates were brought together to form an indivisible nation. Therefore, the Nigerian Army must maintain the nation’s unity at all times (that was why Aguiyi-Ironsi promulgated his Unification Decree No. 34 on May 24, 1966). THE ARABIC TEXTThe Arabic text on the Nigerian Army logo is, “NASRUNMINALLAH” which means “VICTORY COMES FROM GOD ALONE.” The motto was formerly that of the great jihadist, Uthman Dan Fodio, Head of the Sokoto Caliphate which was inscribed by the British under Lord Lugard. THE RED COLOURThis colour portrays the enemy forces, their installations, and their activities. THE BLACK COLOURBlack depicts the cavalry, armoured, and mechanised troops.
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