The flag of Guyana, commonly referred to as “The Golden Arrowhead,” has been the official flag of Guyana since May 26, 1966, following the country’s independence from the United Kingdom. The flag has two triangles, one within the other. It consists of a green field with a black-edged red triangle on the hoist side superimposed on a white-edged golden triangle that is pointed towards the fly side. The width to length ratio of the flag is at 1:2 at sea and 3:5 on land.

The Golden Arrowhead consists of five symbolic colors, namely red, black, golden, white, and green. The red color on the hoist side represents the zeal and the dynamic nature of the country’s building which lies before the independent and young Guyana. The black border symbolizes the endurance that sustains the growth of the Guyanese people. The golden arrow represents the wealth of mineral resources in the country while the white border represents the water and the rivers of Guyana. The green field symbolizes the agricultural and forested nature of the country.

During the planning for independence by British Guiana in the early 1960s, a competition to design a new flag ensued. The flag design that was developed by Whitney Smith was selected as the national flag. Whitney Smith was a vexillologist from the United States and the founder of several vexillology organizations. His design did not have the white and black fimbriation which were later added following the suggestions by the College of Arms in the UK.

As part of the British Empire, the flag of Guyana formerly consisted of the British Blue Ensign with the colonial badge on the fly side. Different colonial badges were used between 1875 and 1966. Between 1875 and 1906, the badge was simply a ship sailing on a sea with clouds and mountains in the background. From 1906 to 1919, a yellow belt bearing the word “DAMUS PETIMUSQUE VICISSIM” was added to the badge. The badge was set on a white background. Between 1919 and 1955, the white background on the colonial badge was not in use.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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