A design conceptualized by Antiguan high school art teacher Sir Reginald Samuel won a national flag design contest and officials in Antigua and Barbuda chose it to represent their country on February 27, 1967. Having secured their governmental independence from Great Britain, the citizens of these two small Caribbean islands felt a new flag design more personal to the character of their country and its people would better symbolize their newly independent nation.
The flag of Antigua and Barbuda is a field of scarlet red with a center design featuring an upside-down triangle. Inside the triangle, an ink-black field features a bright yellow rising sun, complete with rays extending outward. Below this symbol, a wide band of sky blue separates the sun symbol from a pure white upside-down triangle that forms the inverted apex of the design.
The colors of the flag are deeply symbolic; the black band represents the people of Antigua and Barbuda, paying tribute to their proud African heritage. The 16-point sun symbol represents a rising sun as a metaphor for their new beginning as a nation, as well as paying tribute to the constancy of the sun in this beautiful Caribbean setting. The blue band has a dual meaning, symbolizing hope for the future and acting as a tribute to the beautiful turquoise waters which surround both islands. The purity of the white inverted triangle is symbolic of peace and also reflects the white sand beaches that make their island home famous, a symbol that harmonizes with the depictions of sun and water on the flag.
The scarlet field of the flag’s background is a representation of the energy and vitality of this island nation and its people as they strive to improve their country as they move toward the future. The overall design placed centrally on the red background creates an intentional v-shape that stands for the nation’s victory in achieving its independence from Great Britain. As a symbol of Antiguan and Barbudan achievements and a metaphor for their new-found independence, the flag continues to hold deep meaning for the people of this Caribbean nation today.