The flag of Barbados is one of the national symbols of the island nation of Barbados. The flag has three vertical panels with two ultramarines on the sides which are separated by a golden band. In the golden band lies the broken trident in the middle. Mostly the flag is referred to as the national flag of Barbados, as it brings together all the people from all the walks of life. The flag was first adopted on November 30, 1966. The official dimensions of the flag flown on land and sea are in the proportion of 2 to 3, and the flag-mast must be painted white.

There are different explanations of the symbolism of the Barbadian flag. One explanation is that the broken trident signifies the breakaway from England who colonized the island, and the three points of the trident symbolize the three principles of democracy - the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Another explanation is that it represents the sea god Neptune and shows the significance of the sea to the nation of Barbados. Another explanation is that the stripes signify the golden sand around the island and the blue sea that surrounds the island. Other suggestions explain that the blue on the left represents the sky, the gold in the middle represent sand, and the blue to the right represent the blue sea. The broken trident appears on the national flag and the coat of arms.

The designer of the national flag of Barbados was Grantley W. Prescod in an open competition that was organized by the government that attracted 1,029 entries. Prescod emerged the winner and earned a gold medal. He was born in 1926 and attended St. Barnabas Boys School and later to the West of England College of Art where he specialized in teaching Art. He also obtained a certificate in education from Bristol University. Between 1970 and 1972, he studied for Master of Education specializing in Art Education at Temple University in Philadelphia. Prescod died in 2003.

Before the current flag, there were two other flags used in Barbados during its struggle for independence. First, it was the flag of the West Indies Federation. This flag was famously known as the “sun and seas flag”. It was made up of a blue field and four wavy bars of white running parallel to each other with an orange sun sitting in the middle. Another flag that existed in the Barbados was the one for the colonies of Barbados - the flag had a blue British ensign and an emblem of Barbados.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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