Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The National Flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincents first inhabitants, the Caribs, where very aggressive in keeping out European settlers until the 18th century. However, the island swung for the next 100 years from French, to British, to French, and back to British control.

during its control, Britain tried to unify many of the small islands into a central structure, to try to help administer them. However, these failed, and St Vincent maintained its unique identity. The colonial flag was the standard blue ensign, charged with the coat of arms. A simple round disc with 2 ladies in Roman clothing. 1 standing, holding a palm frond, and another kneeling, holding a golden altar.

After the aborted attempt at the creation of the Federation of the West Indies, St Vincent was granted associated statehood within the Empire in 1969. Finally, following a referendum, the islands gained independence in 1979. 

From 1979 to 1985, the first flag of an independent St Vincent was a tricolour of blue, yellow, and green. The yellow stripe is charged with a palm leaf charged with the coat of arms of St Vincent. The coat of arms is surmounted with a cotton plant, and underneath is a ribbon, with "Peace, Justice" in Latin. There where thin white lines dividing the main three stripes.

From March to October in 1985, the thin white stripes where removed.

Then in October 21, 1985, the current flag was adopted. Taking inspiration from the Canadian flag, the central yellow stripe was widened to take up half the flag. The national coat of arms was removed, and replaced with 3 diamonds arranged in the shape of a "V." Also, the diamonds are an allusion to one of the nicknames for St Vincent and the Grenadines, as the diamonds of the Caribbean!

The green stands for the vegetation, the yellow for the sands of the beaches, and the blue represents the sea.

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