The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British overseas territory and the national flag, which is a defaced Blue Ensign with the islands’ Coat of Arms on it, was adopted on November 7, 1968. It has a blue background with the Union Jack, which is the national flag of the United Kingdom, on the upper left corner and the islands’ coat of arms at the center-right. The coat of arms takes the shape of a shield. Within it, there is a lobster on the top right side and a conch shell on the opposite side with a flowering cactus beneath them at the bottom of the shield all within a yellow background. In 1999, the flag had some modifications done to its dimensions and had a white border added to the shield.
The symbols of the coat of arms, that is, the cactus, the Queen Conch shell and the spiny lobster represent the flora and fauna that is commonly found on the islands. The cactus in the shield, whose scientific name is (Melocactus intortous), is also known as the Turks head cactus and therefore contributed to the first half of the islands' name. The conch is a marine snail that is found on the islands and is celebrated every November in the Turks and Caicos Conch Festival. The Spiny Lobsters are also found in plenty on the islands and diving for them is even offered as a tourist attraction. The Blue Ensign is used to depict the islands’ relationship to the United Kingdom.
The blue ensign, in its current form, has been in use since January 1, 1801, when Northern Ireland joined England, Scotland and Wales to become a part of the United Kingdom. It is used by territories and public bodies associated with the kingdom. The Coat of Arms was adopted on September 25, 1965.
Before 1968, when the current flag was adopted, the islands had a different flag. It was still a defaced Blue Ensign, but it was different from the current coat of arms. It had a circle which had a man on a beach with two salt piles, three buckets and a shovel around him, with a ship at sea in the background. At the bottom of the circle was the islands’ name. The flag of the Governor of the island is a defaced flag of the United Kingdom with a coat of arms within a wreath of laurels at its center.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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