North America

Trinidad and Tobago 1

Trinidad and Tobago

The flag of Trinidad and Tobago was adopted upon independence from the United Kingdom on 31 August 1962. Designed by Carlisle Chang (1921–2001), the flag of Trinidad and Tobago was chosen by the independence committee of 1962. Red, black and white symbolize fire (the sun, representing courage), earth (representing dedication) and water (representing purity and equality).

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a Canadian pale triband consisting of blue, gold, and green bands charged with three green diamonds at the centre. Adopted in 1985 to replace a similar design used from the time of independence, it has been the flag of Saint Vincent since that year. The design of the present flag entailed substituting the country’s coat of arms on a breadfruit leaf with the diamonds. They are a reference to both the letter “V”, which is the first letter of the country’s name, and its nickname as the “Gems of the Antilles” and “Jewels of the Caribbean”. Accordingly, the flag itself has been given the moniker of “The Gems”.

Saint Lucia 3

Saint Lucia

The colors and symbols of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. The blue epitomizes the sky and the sea, specifically the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea which encircle the country. The black and white allude to the harmonious relationship between the black and white races. The yellow symbolizes the sunshine, as well as prosperity. The triangles represent the Pitons, which are twin volcanic cones located in the southwest part of the island and unity; Gros Piton and Petit Piton are a national symbol of Saint Lucia.

Saint Kitts and Nevis 4

Saint Kitts and Nevis

The flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis consists of a yellow-edged black band containing two white stars that divides diagonally from the lower hoist-side corner, with a green upper triangle and red lower triangle. Adopted in 1983 to replace the flag of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, it has been the flag of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis since the country gained independence that year. Although the flag utilises the colours of the Pan-Africanist movement, the symbolism behind them is interpreted differently.

Nicaragua 5

Nicaragua

The two Azure bands on the flag and the arms of Nicaragua in use today are the most similar to those used by the United Provinces of Central America. The triangle, volcanoes, rising sun, Cap of Liberty, and rainbow all appeared on the original emblem. The coat of arms used today contains the name of the state, Republica de Nicaragua, whereas in 1823 the title was Provincias Unidas del Centro de America. The decision to revert to the emblems used by the United Provinces of Central America was taken in 1908 and reflected Nicaragua’s aspirations for the rebirth of the political entity formed by the 5 nations. Except for the text around the arms, the flag is very similar to that of the United Provinces of Central America. The 5 volcanoes represent the original 5 member states, the Cap of Liberty represents national freedom, and the rays of the sun and the rainbow are symbolic of the bright future to come.

Sint Maarten 6

Sint Maarten

The flag of Sint Maarten is the national flag of Sint Maarten. The flag, designed by 17 year old Roselle Richardson, was officially adopted on 13 June 1985.

The design features a horizontal bi-colour of red and blue with the coat of arms of Sint Maarten on a white chevron, thus incorporating the colors of the Dutch flag. The red symbolizes solidarity and courage, the blue peace and assurance of pardon, and the white purity and faith.

Saba 8

Saba

The flag of Saba was adopted on December 6, 1985 (national day of the island). 130 different designs were presented to the Commission. The chosen flag was designed by an 18-year-old Saban named Edmond Daniel Johnson.

Saba accepted Dutch sovereignty after 1816 and used the Dutch flag. However, since some islanders considered Saba a “republic”, they added a special symbol – a green cabbage — to emphasize their independence, and this symbol was used probably until about the 1920s.

Curaçao 9

Curaçao

The national flag of Curaçao represents the country of Curaçao as well as the island area within the Netherlands Antilles from 1984 until its dissolution in 2010. The flag was flown for Curaçao and Dependencies for which the flag of the Netherlands was never used.

The flag is a blue field with a horizontal yellow stripe slightly below the midline and two white, five-pointed stars in the canton. The blue symbolises the sea and sky (the bottom and top blue sections, respectively), divided by a yellow stroke representing the bright sun which bathes the island. The two stars represent Curaçao and Klein Curaçao, with the five points on each star symbolise the five continents from which Curaçao’s people descend.

Bonaire 10

Bonaire

The flag of Bonaire has a large dark blue triangle in the lower right corner and a smaller yellow triangle in the upper left corner. It was adopted on 11 December 1981.

The triangles are separated by a white strip, inside of which is a black compass and a red six-pointed star. The dark blue and yellow triangles represent the sea and sun respectively while the dividing white strip represents the sky. The colors red, white, and blue also show Bonaire’s loyalty to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The black compass represents the population of Bonaire who comes from the four corners of the world.

The red six-pointed star represents the original six villages of Bonaire – Antriol, Nikiboko, Nort Saliña, Playa, Rincon and Tera Korá.

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