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Last modified: 2002-08-09 by dov gutterman
Keywords: barbados | caribbean | trident | barb | west indies | fig tree | dolphin | pelican | pelican island | sugarcane | st. andrew | west indian federation |
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by Zeljko Heimer, 24 Febuary 2001

Flag adopted 30 November 1966, coat of arms adopted 21 December 1966.

see also:

The Flag

National flag. CSW/C-- 2:3 - Different sources differ in the representation of the shape of the trident - possibly it is not entirely defined or it may have changed over the years. All sources seem to agree that the blue shade is lighter then the standard blue used in the UJ (and in the Governor General of Barbados flag) and yellow is in all representation dark, almost orange. [smi80] designate the flag as CSW/CSW, but since BB has no navy and since (as it seems) the white ensign was introduced in the mean time (Naval and Coast Guard Ensign), the usage designation seems to be all right as shown in Album 2000.
Zeljko Heimer, 24 Febuary 2001

Barbados flag colour shades from Album 2000 [pay00] are:
Pantone --- CMYK
B  280c --- 100-70-0-20
Y  123c --- 0-30-90-0
Santiago Dotor, 26 Febuary 2001

When I was in Barbados I checked the flag. The blue was uniformly a medium-dark; darker than that usually seen in the French flag, for example, but lighter than that of the US. I'd simply call it B+ in quick descriptions. Likewise the yellow is Y+, rather rich in tone.
Al Kirsch, 26 Febuary 2001

According to Politikens Flagbook the flag was the winning proposal in a nation-wide contest, and was designed by an Grantley Prescod, teacher of arts.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 7 October 2001


The blue on the left is for the sky, the gold for the sand, the right blue for the sea. The trident in the middle represents the break with England at independence - the trident is broken, thus only the top is showing. The name of Barbados comes from the Portuguese name Os Barbados meaning bearded one, because of the bearded fig tree that used to cover the island. The three points of the trident represent the three principles of democracy - government of, for and by the people.
James Dignan, 22 November 1995, "Amanda" from Barbados, 20 May 1998

According to Politikens Flagbook (translated by me): "Prescod explains the stripes as symbol for the blue sea and the golden sand, that encircle the island. The trident is taken from the previous flag-charge, which showed Britannia holding a trident (symbol for her rule
over the seas)). Here, the trident is without shaft as a symbol for the break with the colonial past. Simultaneously it symbolizes the sea god Neptune and refelcts the sea's large significance for Barbados."
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 7 October 2001

Rules about Flying the Flag of Barbados

from the official site of the Barbados government :

  • The National Flag should be flown every day from the Public Buildings, Trafalgar Square, from 6:00am to 6:00pm. It may also be flown daily from government buildings and schools when they are in session, and places of business. The National Flag should not be flown after 6:00pm except inside a building.
  • The National Flag is flown at half-mast in mourning. The decision on the occasions on which the flag should be flown at half-mast rest with the Cabinet (Government).
  • The flag should never be flown with the trident inverted except as a sign of distress.
  • The flag when on display should not be allowed to touch anything beneath it - floors, furniture, trees, plants, buildings, vehicles, water, etc.

Naval and Coast Guard Ensign

by Zeljko Heimer, 24 Febuary 2001

White, red cross, national flag in the canton
Jan Zrzavy, 16 January 1998

Coast Guard Ensign. ---/-S- (1:2) - The white ensign, with red cross and the national flag in canton. The width of the cross is (as indicated in Album 2000 [pay00]) 1/8 of the hoist, and the flag in canton is, of course - deformed from 2:3 of the national flag to fit the entire canton. What is then done with the trident, I guess is not entirely defined (or is it?).[smi80] does not mention this flag, so it may be latter then 1980.
Zeljko Heimer, 24 Febuary 2001

Coat of Arms

From the official site of the Barbados government

The Grant of Arms conveyed by royal warrant was presented to the President of the Senate by Her Majesty the Queen in 1966 - the year Barbados gained independence from Britain.
The Golden Shield carries two Pride of Barbados flowers (the National Flower) and the Bearded Fig Tree (after which Barbados is named). The shield is supported by a dolphin (symbolic of the fishing industry) and by a pelican (after a small island called Pelican Island which existed off Barbados). Above the shield is a helmet and mantling and above is a hand of a Barbadian holding two crossed pieces of sugarcane (symbolic of the Barbados sugar industry). The cross formed by the cane is a reference to the cross on which St.Andrew was crucified - Barbados' Independence Day is celebrated on November 30th, Saint Andrews Day.
From the official site of the Barbados government

I was wandering - it seems that in all CoA images the leaves of the barbed fig tree are green (as I suppose they are in nature) while in the Royal Stanard they apear as blue. Any explanation?
Zeljko Heimer, 24 Febuary 2001

Aircraft Marking

by Zeljko Heimer, 24 Febuary 2001

Aircraft Marking. - It's roundel maybe described bast by blazoning (thoughh it is not a CoA) - "Or a Hurt and a Chief Azure". The shades are of the national flag.
Zeljko Heimer, 24 Febuary 2001

Why this design? I would think that a yellow disc with a blue border and a black trident would be more obvious.
Ole Andersen, 2 August 2002

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