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Civic heraldry of Malaysia
Arms: Argent, a tree standing on a base both proper; on the dexter a flank Orange and on the sinister a flank Azure, all below a chief Azure, five krisses per pale Or.
Crest: A crescent and five-pointed star Or.
Supporters: Two mouse deer (Tragulus napu - Tragulidae) proper.
Motto: MELAKA between BERSATU TEGOH (Union Makes Strength) in yellow latin and arab lettering on a blue ribbon.
The arms were granted in 1963.
In the arms the mouse deer are a symbol of valour, referring to the legend of the king, the dog and the mouse deer mentioned below.
In 1409, Parameswara assumed the title Sultan Iskandar Shah due to his marriage to a princess from Pasai. His marriage to the Muslim princess encouraged a number of his subjects to embrace Islam. According to the Sejarah Melayu legend the king saw a mouse deer outwit a dog when he was resting under the Melaka tree. He took what he saw as a good omen and decided to establish a capital for his kingdom there. Today, the mouse deer is part of modern Malacca's coat of arms.
I have no information on the other elements.
The motto is a translation of the former latin motto EX UNITATE VIRES, itself derived from the motto of the Dutch Republic: CONCORDIA RES PARVÆ CRESCUNT (Unity Makes Things Grow).
Malacca was conquered by the Dutch in 1641 and came under the jurisdiction of the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.). On 1 December 1795 the British took over the administration an Malacca was governed by residents until 1818. Malacca was ceded to the British in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 in exchange for Bencoolen on Sumatra. From 1826 to 1946 Malacca was governed, first by the British East India Company and then as a Crown Colony. It formed part of the Straits Settlements, together with Singapore and Penang. In 1957, Malacca joined other Malay states to form Malaya and in 1963, together with Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore formed Malaysia.
The arms replaced the colonial arms below, granted on August 14, 1951
The arms show a Chinese Junk. The meaning of the bordure and tree I do not know. The crest shows the Portuguese-built Porta the Santiago in the town of Malacca and one of the oldest remaining European structures in South-East Asia.
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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink
Literature : National and State flags and crests of Malaysia, 1963; www.hubert-herald.nl