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|National Symbols of the Bahamas
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Lift up your head to the rising sun, Bahamaland;
Pressing onward, march together to a common loftier
Lift up your head to the rising sun, Bahamaland,
Flamingos are found in three major nesting groups in the West Indian region -- Great Inaugua island in The Bahamas; Yucatan, Mexico; and Bonaire Island in the Netherlands Antilles. The more than 50,000 birds inhabiting the 287 square miles of Inagua are protected by wardens employed by the Society for the Protection of the Flamingo in The Bahamas, through the Bahamas National Trust, a statutory body set up in 1959.
The COAT OF ARMS is a composition of things indigenous to these islands. The preliminary design of the coat of arms was prepared by Bahamian artist Hervis Bain. The crest of the arms, a light pink conch shell, symbolizes the marine life of The Bahamas. The top of the crest is composed of wavy green palm fronds, symbolic of the natural vegetation. The Santa Maria, flagship of Christopher Columbus, appears on the shield. Wavy barrulets of blue symbolize the waters of The Bahamas. The shield is charged with a radiant sun to signify the world-famous balmy resort climate, as well as the bright future of the islands. A flamingo, the national bird, and a silvery blue marlin, the national fish, support the shield. The national motto, "Forward Upward Onward Together," is draped across the base of the coat of arms. It heralds the direction and manner in which the Bahamian nation should move. The motto was chosen after a national competition, which was won by two 11-year-old schoolchildren -- Vivian F. Moultrie of Inagua Public School and Melvern B. Bowe of the Government High School in Nassau.
Found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, many persons first encounter this fish in Ernest Hemingway's book The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway was a frequent visitor to The Bahamas, especially the island of Bimini, where the blue marlin is highly prized among the game-fishing community. A powerful and aggressive fighter, the blue marlin can run hard and long, sound or dive deep, and leap high into the air in a display of strength.
Black represents the vigor and force of a united people. The triangle pointing represents the enterprise and determination of the Bahamian people to develop and process the rich resources of land and sea, symbolized by gold and aquamarine, respectively.
Selection of the yellow elder over many other flowers was made through the combined popular vote of members of all four of New Providences garden clubs of the 1970s the Nassau Garden Club, the Carver Garden Club, the International Garden Club, and the YWCA Garden Club. They reasoned that other flowers grown here such as the bougainvillea, hibiscus, and poinciana had already been chosen as the national flowers of other countries. The yellow elder, on the other hand, was unclaimed (although it is now also the official flower of the United States Virgin Islands).
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
I Pledge my allegiance to the flag and to
God Bless our sunny clime, spur us to height sublime.
Let gratefulness ascend, courageous deeds extend
The long, long night has passed, the morning breaks at
Not for this time nor for this chosen few alone
The extremely hard and heavy self-lubricating wood from this tree is especially well suited for bearings and bushings of propeller shafts on steamships, as well as for bearings in steel mills, for bowling balls, and pulleys. The bark is used for medicinal purposes, and many Bahamians steep the bark and drink it as an aphrodisiac. For many years, dating back to World War II, shipments of the wood were made from The Bahamas to the United Kingdom and the United States by the New Providence firm of Duncombe and Butler.
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This page was last updated on 05/23/2017.