The flag of Saint Helena consists of a royal blue field with a Union Jack in the top left-hand corner. On the right-hand side lies the coat of arms of Saint Helena which consists of a shield, with the national bird (the Saint Helena Plover, also known as a wirebird, as well as a coastal scene of the island in the shield. This depiction of Saint Helena shows a ship off the island flying the national flag of England and also the motto "Loyal and unshakable" below the ship. This flag was officially adopted on 4 October 1984 and is flown prominently throughout the island.
The Union Jack is a consistent symbol throughout former and current British colonies and territories and signifies the relationship of Saint Helena with the United Kingdom. The rocky coastal areas of Saint Helena are perfectly depicted in the scene of the ship off the coast. The national bird (Saint Helena Plover), is an endangered and native species that is also featured on some of the currency of the island.
The flag of Saint Helena was designed and commissioned in order to mark the 150th anniversary of Saint Helena becoming a British Crown Territory. Governor Massingham was instrumental in this flag becoming the national symbol of Saint Helena. The Saint Helena coat of arms was designed by the Garter King of Arms, in London, under close consultation with the government. On 30 January 1984, Her Majesty The Queen decreed the coat of arms to be officially registered and be used only by the territory of Saint Helena.
Prior flags of Saint Helena include the Union Jack and the Red Ensign of England, as is common with many other territories. Saint Helena was an important hub for traders and the flag of the East India Company was also used in some areas. The flag used from 1874-1984 is very similar to the current flag but does not feature the Saint Helena Plover.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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