The flag of the United States of America, often referred to as the American flag or the U.S. flag, is the national flag of the United States. It consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically as the “union”) bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows, where rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternate with rows of five stars. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, and the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states in the U.S. Nicknames for the flag include the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and the Star-Spangled Banner.
The flag of the Cayman Islands consists of a Blue Ensign defaced with the British overseas territory’s coat of arms. Adopted in 1959 to supplement the Union Jack and to replace the flag of the Colony of Jamaica, it has been the flag of the Cayman Islands since the territory was granted self-government that year. The design of the present flag entailed removing the white disc and outlining the coat of arms with a white trim, although the previous version is often used in an official capacity. The Cayman Islands’ flag is similar to the flags of eight other British Overseas Territories, which are also Blue Ensigns with their respective coats of arms.
The national flag of Anguilla, a British overseas territory, consists of a Blue Ensign with the British flag in the canton, charged with the coat of arms of Anguilla in the fly. The coat of arms consists of three dolphins in a circular formation, which were featured on the earlier Anguillan flag, and which stand for friendship, wisdom and strength. The white in the background stands for peace, and the light blue represents the sea, as well as faith, youth, and hope.
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).
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”.
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.
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.