Flag History of Grenada

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Flag of Grenada

A Flag history of Grenada

The Colonial flag of Grenada from 1875 until 1903 was the British Blue Ensign with a badge depicting a sugar cane mill moved by oxen and dark-skinned workers, with the Latin motto "Hae Tibi Erunt Artes", from Virgil's poem "Aenaid", meaning "These will be your arts". The badge was changed in 1903, probably because of its obvious association with slavery: many slaves had lost a hand when it became entangled while passing bundles of sugar cane through the rolls. The Colonial flag of Grenada from 1903 was the Blue Ensign with the badge now depicting a ship in full sail, possibly that of Columbus, who discovered the island on his third voyage. The Latin inscription beneath the ship "Clarior e Tenebris" means "Light out of Darkness".

Crown Colony of Grenada, 1875
Crown Colony of Grenada, 1903
West Indies Federation, 1958
Grenada, 1967
Grenada and the Grenadines, 1974
Coat of Arms of Grenada

The West Indies Federation was formed in 1958 out of the then British colonies in the Caribbean: Jamaica, the Caymans and Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, Grenada, St Vincent, St Lucia and Dominica. It did not include the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands. It was envisaged that the Federation would become independent from Britain as a single state; however, it collapsed in 1962 due to internal political conflicts. Its flag, designed by Eda Manley, was a blue field bearing four equally-spaced horizontal wavy lines with a gold disk over the middle two lines in the centre of the flag, representing the Caribbean Sea and the sunshine of the region.

In 1967 Grenada became a British Associated State and adopted a blue-yellow-green flag, representing the sea, sun and vegetation, with in an oval the nutmeg, the most important export article of Grenada (the "Spice Island"). The red in the emblem stands for the mace that grows on the outside of the nut and is also used as a spice. And upon Grenada's independence, on 7 February 1974, Grenada's current flag was officially introduced. It has a rather unusual design, employing the Pan-African colours, representing Grenada's African identity. Yellow stands for the sun, wisdom and the friendliness of the people, green for the vegetation and agriculture, while red is for courage and vitality. The seven stars stand for the country's seven parishes: Saint George (the capital, represented by the central star), Saint John, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick, Saint Andrew, Saint David and the Grenadines (the small islands stretching from the main island to the Martinique Channel). On the green triangle at the hoist is a nutmeg, the most important export article.

The official Coat of Arms of Grenada is a shield divided into four parts by a golden cross. Its colours, red, gold and green, are those of the National Flag with the same symbolism attached to them. The cross refers to Christianity and in its centre is the Santa Maria, Columbus' flagship, representing Grenada’s sighting by Christopher Columbus in 1498 and the continuing link with yachting and tourism. A lion on a red field is shown in the upper left and lower right sections of the shield, symbolising strength and the unswerving determination to face the challenges of nationhood with courage and resourcefulness. The green fields display a golden crescent moon and a Madonna Lily in the upper right and lower left sections, indicating that Grenada has, since its sighting by Columbus, been dedicated to Mary of the Immaculate Conception and in whose honour the island was first named "Conception Island"; the shield itself rests in a valley between two mountains, representing the spectacularly picturesque topography of the islands. The Grand Etang Lake is represented amid luxuriant green vegetation in the foreground of which is placed a sprig of cocoa, with a ripe pod, balanced by a sprig of nutmeg, also showing the ripe fruit. Growing from the vegetation on the left side of the shield is a stalk of maize flowering and bearing three ears of ripened cobs and on the right a banana tree bearing a full bunch. The fruits all represent Grenada’s traditional link with an agricultural economy. Above the shield is a Royal Helm in gold, with a star symbolic of the nation's hopes, aspirations and ideals, topped with a garland of Bougainvillea branches. Within the garland are seven red roses, representing the seven parishes of Grenada. The shield is supported by a Tattoo or armadillo and a Grenada Dove. A ribbon displays the national motto: "Ever conscious of God we aspire, build and advance as one people".