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Official Symbols and Emblems of Barbados

The National Flag is composed of three vertical panels -- the outer of ultramarine (for the sea and sky of Barbados) and the center of gold (for the sand of Barbados' beaches). The symbol in the center panel is the Trident of Neptune; the shaft is broken to symbolize Barbados' break with its historical and constitutional ties as a colony. The National Flag was designed by Grantley W. Prescod, whose design was chosen from 1,029 entries in an open competition organized by the Government of Barbados.

flag of Barbados

The grant of a Coat of Arms was presented by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain to the President of the Senate of Barbados on February 14, 1966. The arms were designed by Neville C. Connell, director of the Barbados Museum. The Golden Shield bears two Pride of Barbados flowers (the National Flower) and the Bearded Fig Tree (which was common on the island at the time of its settlement). The shield is supported on the dexter side by a dolphin (symbolic of the fishing industry) and by a pelican (for Pelican Island, which existed off Barbados until being incorporated into the Deep Water Harbour) on the sinister side. Above the shield is a helmet and mantling and on a wreath is the arm and hand of a Barbadian holding two crossed pieces of sugar cane (symbolic of the sugar industry), making what is called a Saltire Cross, the cross upon which Saint Andrew was crucified (Independence Day is celebrated on November 30, Saint Andrew's Day). The ribbon below the shield bears the Barbadian motto "Pride and Industry."

coat of arms

The National Flower of Barbados is the Pride of Barbados (Poinciana pulcherrima linnaeus), also known as the dwarf poinciana or flower fence. This shrub is often pruned into a low hedge, but if left untrimmed can grow to a height of 10 to 15 feet. It blooms most of the year. The National Flower is accepted as the red variety with the yellow margin on the petals, but other variations can be found. Each flower is about 1 inches across. The branches are prickly. The leaves are doubly compound, about one foot long and six inches wide, with many small leaflets.

National Flower of Barbados

The National Pledge was written by Lester Vaughan, a former teacher and education officer of primary schools, whose entry was chosen over 166 other compositions in a national competition. The Pledge was formally announced to Barbados on April 2, 1973.

I pledge allegiance to my country Barbados and to my flag,
To uphold and defend their honour,
And by my living to do credit
to my nation wherever I go.

The music of the National Anthem was written by C. Van Roland Edwards; it was re-arranged in 1967 by Inspector Prince Cave of the Royal Barbados Police Band. The lyrics were written by Irving Burgie.

In plenty and in time of need
When this fair land was young
Our brave forefathers sowed the seed
From which our pride is sprung,
A pride that makes no wanton boast
Of what it has withstood
That binds our hearts from coast to coast -
The pride of nationhood

We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own.
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great,
Strict guardians of our heritage,
Firm craftsmen of our fate

The Lord has been the people's guide
For past three hundred years.
With him still on the people's side
We have no doubts or fears.
Upward and onward we shall go,
Inspired, exulting, free,
And greater will our nation grow
In strength and unity.

Queen Elizabeth II

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The Robinson Library >> Barbados

This page was last updated on 07/20/2018.