exploringsingapore is exclusive ExplorerSG mini series where we reveal some of the lesser-known places, facts and history of Singapore.
The name is a combination of “mer” — a prefix applied to partly sea-creatures —and “lion”. The lion head signifies Sang Nila Utama’s discovery of a lion when he first landed on the island, and the fish body pays tribute to Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village.
Today, it is a national symbol and is imprinted on countless Singapore memorabilia and souvenirs. It was also the logo of STPB till 1997 when it was rebranded to Singapore Tourism Board (STB).