The up to date seal of Madagascar was designed in 1993 and has been used since then continously. It shows the outlines oft he country in red colour in the middle of a white circle, below this is a stylized zebu head on an equally stylized rice field. The zebu and the rice field stand for the two most important nourishments and economic goods of the Malagasy people, while the travelers‘ tree emphasizes the uniqueness and high biodiversity of the country. The seal background is bright yellow, and enframed by the logo „Repoblikan’i Madagasikara“, which simply means Republic of Madagascar.
At the lower margin, there are the words „Tanindrazana – Fahafahana – Fandrosoana“, which means fatherland, freedom and development. Since Madagascar still pro forma claims sovereignty over the nearby islands Grande Glorieuse, Ile du Lys, Roches Vertes and Tromelin, those islands are depicted in the national seal besides the Malagasy map.
The first Malagasy seal was introduced with Madagascar’s independence in 1958. It was simply green and yet showed the zebu, the travelers‘ tree, the slogan and two ears. The island was ruled by socialism between 1975 and 1992, therefore the seal was heavily changed during this time. Zebu and traveler’s tree were replaced by socialistic-communistic symbols like e.g. the red star, the red rising sun and the three arrows. The slogan was renamend, of course, to „Tanindrazana, Tolom-Piavotana, Fahafahana“, in English fatherland, revolution, freedom. While turning away from communistic idols from 1993 on, the seal changed again back to its original symbols with zebu, travelers‘ tree and ears. The silhoette of Madagascar and the rice field were added. The slogan at that time was „Tanindrazana, Fahafahana, Fahamarinana“, translated fatherland, freedom and justice.