Tonga coat of arms, as designed in 1862 by Prince Uelingatoni Ngu Tupou.
Three stars in the 1st quarter top left represent the three main island groups of Tonga.1
Three swords in the 4th quarter, lower right, represent the three royal dynasties2 from which the present monarchy is descended.
The motto translates as From God and Tonga, I descend.
The dove and the crown represent Christianity and the Monarchy.
coat of arms image attribution: By Original design attributed to Reverend Shirley Baker (1836 – 1903). SVG by Tauʻolunga – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3511325
Tonga is an ancient dominion of sea-faring peoples and has never ceded sovereignty to outsiders. Even in the colonial age when Tonga became a protectorate of Great Britain3, the highest appointed British authority was a consul; the Tongan monarch retaining sovereignty, unique among the islands of the Pacific Ocean.
Tonga has been settled for three thousand years. Pre-European contact history has been passed down by oral tradition. The era of 1000AD to 1500AD, Tonga had acquired a reputation for dominion. First contact with Europeans was in 1616.
- Tongatapu (southernmost), Ha’apai (central) and Vava’u (northernmost), Tonga – Wikipedia
- Tu’i Tonga (900AD – 1470AD), Tu’i Ha’atakalaua (1470AD – 1600AD) and Tu’i Kanokupolu (1600 AD to present) Britannica
- under the Treaty of Friendship with Great Britain in AD1900