Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Heritage: Straits Settlements Coat of Arms

Here's a close-up shot of the Coat of Arms of the Straits Settlements, photographed from one of the old currency notes in my possession.

The Straits Settlements comprised the four trade centres of Penang, Singapore, Malacca and Labuan. The British settlement at Penang was founded by Francis Light in 1786 and Singapore by Stamford Raffles in 1819. After Malacca was transferred to the East India Company in 1824, the three territories were established as a crown colony in 1867. Later, Labuan was constituted as the fourth settlement in 1912.
The Straits colony was broken up in 1946 when Penang and Malacca were included into the Malayan Union, Singapore became a separate crown colony and Labuan was incorporated into North Borneo.
On the shield in this Coat of Arms are the emblems of Singapore (top left), Penang (top right), Labuan (bottom right) and Malacca (bottom left).


stephen said...

Any idea what plant that might be for the emblem of Labuan?

Quah, Seng-Sun said...

Stephen, I think you meant Malacca instead of Labuan, because the Labuan emblem would include the boat, mountain and the sun.

So if it's the Malacca emblem you are asking about, I have no idea. It's quite normal to associate the plant with the Malacca tree but it's not. The fruit of the Malacca tree is round and not elongated as in the Straits Settlements Coat of Arms. I have no answer.

stephen said...

SS, out of curiosity, I let my fingers do the research and found this site which states that the state emblem either depicts the animal which is the mousedeer or the malacca tree as you rightly put. Don't really know the shape of the fruit though.
Was down in Penang the other day.Enjoyed my walk along Chulia and Stewart Lane esp. the narrowest road where boatmen used to live.Interesting.
You're a history buff I see!

Quah, Seng-Sun said...

Stephen, just do a search on "malacca tree" and you'll see images of the tree and its fruit, like in this blog:

BTW, drop me an email when you are next back in Penang.

raymond said...

tiger stand on the fort - Dinding Perak

Tree(pinang) - penang island

sun,mountain & boat - Singapore

leaf - Malacca

labuan is not part of strait settlement, is under British North Borneo Company

Anonymous said...

"tiger stand on the fort - Dinding Perak"

it is actually a lion and is the emblem for Singapore before achieving colony status.