Lion’s head symbol



Singapore’s lion’s head symbol was launched in 1986 as an alternative national symbol.1 The logo is in solid red against a white background – the colours of the national flag. The lion symbolises courage, strength and excellence, while the five partings of the lion’s mane represents Singapore’s five ideals.2

Symbolic meaning
The lion is significant as Singapore’s name is derived from the old Sanskrit term, simha3 or singa4 (sometimes spelt singha5), which means “lion”. The symbol in the icon represents courage, strength and excellence. Set in solid red against a white background, the symbol mirrors the colours of the national flag.6

The mane’s five partings represent the five ideals of Singapore: democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. These are the same ideals embodied in the five stars on the national flag. The lion’s tenacious mien symbolises the nation’s single-minded resolve to face any challenges and overcome any obstacles.7

History
The Ministry of Communications and Information launched a search among art institutions and advertising agencies for a logo that could best exemplify the characteristics of a nation and be used in a more informal context.8 The lion’s head was eventually chosen as the logo, as it best captures the characteristics of Singapore’s reputation as a “Lion City”. It was introduced in 1986 as Singapore’s alternative national symbol.9

Guidelines for use
The national flag and state crest have legal restrictions that prohibit their use for nongovernmental and commercial purposes.


1. Any individual, organisation or company can use the Lion Head symbol for purposes of identifying with the nation.


2. While Singapore companies may use the Lion Head symbol as a means of identifying themselves with Singapore, it should not be assumed or taken to indicate any kind of official endorsement of the companies' products or services.

3. The Lion Head symbol should be used in good taste and treated with dignity and respect. Its design should not be modified in any way or have any words or graphics superimposed over it. However, it may be depicted in outline form, be embossed or portrayed as a watermark.

4. The official colours of the Lion Head symbol are Pantone 032 (red), white or black.10



Author

Zubaidah Mohamed



References
1. Lee, V. (1986, July 23). Call to promote lion symbol gets mixed reception. The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National Heritage Board. (2014). The lion head symbol. Retrieved 2016, June 10 from National Heritage Board website: http://www.nhb.gov.sg/resources/national-symbols/the-lion-head-symbol
2. Ministry of Culture. (1997). Singapore facts and pictures. Singapore: Ministry of Culture, p. 8.  (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SMCFPS); National Heritage Board. (2014). The lion head symbol. Retrieved 2016, June 10 from National Heritage Board website: http://www.nhb.gov.sg/resources/national-symbols/the-lion-head-symbol
3. Singapore Tourism Board. (2016). Our history: A long, long time ago. Retrieved 2016, July 18 from Singapore Tourism Board website: http://www.yoursingapore.com/about-singapore/singapore-history.html
4. Srivatsa. (1988, January 8). In praise of the lion's majesty, valour and strength. The Straits Times, p. 8; Gee, M. (1985, December 6). A lion’s share of attention. The Straits Times, p. 17; Leong, C. (2008, December 13). Sanskrit is all around. Today, p. 25; Lion with fish tail is Tourist Board’s new emblem. (1964, April 25). The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Srivatsa. (1988, January 8). In praise of the lion’s majesty, valour and strength. The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Ministry of Culture. (1997). Singapore facts and pictures. Singapore: Ministry of Culture, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SMCFPS); National Heritage Board. (2014). The lion head symbol. Retrieved 2016, June 10 from National Heritage Board website: http://www.nhb.gov.sg/resources/national-symbols/the-lion-head-symbol
7. Ministry of Culture. (1997). Singapore facts and pictures. Singapore: Ministry of Culture, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SMCFPS); National Heritage Board. (2014). The lion head symbol. Retrieved 2016, June 10 from National Heritage Board website: http://www.nhb.gov.sg/resources/national-symbols/the-lion-head-symbol
8. National Heritage Board. (2014). National symbols. Retrieved 2016, June 10 from National Heritage Board website: http://www.nhb.gov.sg/resources/national-symbols; National Heritage Board. (2014). The lion head symbol. Retrieved 2016, June 10 from National Heritage Board website: http://www.nhb.gov.sg/resources/national-symbols/the-lion-head-symbol
9. National Heritage Board. (2014). The lion head symbol. Retrieved 2016, June 10 from National Heritage Board website: http://www.nhb.gov.sg/resources/national-symbols/the-lion-head-symbol
10. National Heritage Board. (2014). The lion head symbol. Retrieved 2016, June 10 from National Heritage Board website: http://www.nhb.gov.sg/resources/national-symbols/the-lion-head-symbol



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Politics and Government>>National Symbols
Law and government>>Political ideologies>>Nationalism
National symbols
Emblems, National--Singapore