The beautiful islands of the Bahamas were a crown colony of the United Kingdom in 1717, with the islands officially colonized in 1783. The islands gained a certain amount of internal autonomy in 1964 and ultimately became an independent nation in 1973. Throughout its rich history different flags have flown over the Bahamas.
Since the Bahamas were originally under British rule, their flag reflected the country. The Union Jack design was implemented into the Bahamas flag. This British design featured several red and white crosses over a blue background. Badges on the flag showed pirate ships on the sea fleeing from a British ship. From 1923 to 1953 the flag had the British blue ensign and it was defaced with an emblem featuring the crown colony. In 1953 the flag changed again slightly. The flag was the same as the previous except that it had a different queen’s crown over the emblem. This was the flag used in the Bahamas for many years.
The most recent version of the Bahamas flag was adopted on July 10, 1973. This flag is designed with three horizontal bands. There is an aquamarine colored stripe at the top and bottom with a gold stripe splashed through the middle. A black, triangular chevron is located over the top of the stripes on the hoist side. This current national flag was designed by Dr. Hervis Bain. The flag was raised in 1973 to celebrate the country’s independence from Britain.
The Bahamas flag is only raised between the rising and setting of the sun. If it is flown during the night hours, it must be lit properly. When Bahamian ships are at sea the Bahamas Red Ensign is required to be flown in place of the current Bahamas flag. The colors on the flag were chosen to represent several important aspects of the Bahamas. The aquamarine symbolizes the beautiful blue water of the Caribbean. The gold represents the sandy gold beaches as well as the rich land resources the island has to offer. The black was chosen to stand for the force of the united people of the Bahamas.