Barbados Flag

Barbados Flag

The design of the flag of the island nation Barbados is a trio of vertical lines, each taking up one third of the flag’s width. The outer lines are an ultramarine blue while the inner line is a golden color yellow with the depiction of a trident’s head positioned in its center. The blue of the flag signifies the blue sky and blue waters that surround the country, while the gold is symbolic of the country’s sandy beaches. The trident-head, referred to as a ‘broken trident,” originates from the country’s prior status as a British colony; the colonial badge of Barbados depicted Britannia grasping such a trident. The decision to only depict the head of the trident signifies a cessation of colonial status, while the three tines are symbolic of democracy; democracy as a government, democracy for the people, and democracy by the people.

Initially, Barbados’ flag was simply the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and was the sole Caribbean nation to never change flags during the era of colonialism. The flag slightly changed in 1885 from simply being the British Union Jack to moving the Union Jack to the upper left corner and with the Barbadian colonial seal in the center of the flag’s right half; this reflected the colony’s status as an emancipated state. The flag experienced another shift in 1958, swapping the colonial seal for a coat of arms, reflecting its membership among the West Indies Federation.

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The design behind the modern Barbadian flag comes from Grantley W. Prescod’s submission to the native government for its new flag. Prescod’s design was chosen over one thousand different submissions. The flag has been a symbol of Barbados since the nation claimed its independence from Great Britain in 1966.

Interesting Facts About the Flag of Barbados:

  • The flag is never to be raised so that the trident points downward, except in times of distress.
  • The trident’s origins come from the nation’s island nature and from an appreciation of mythology; the trident is a symbol of Greco-Roman sea gods.
  • Any mast bearing the Barbadian flag must be uniformly white in its coloration.
  • Prescod received a gold medal for his winning submission in the competition. He also held a Masters in Art Education. Prescod was born in the year 1926 and lived until November 12th of 2003.