The current flag of St. Kitts and Nevis has been in use since 1983 after a competition was held to create a new design for the country, which had recently become independent from the United Kingdom. Edrice Lewis beat more than 250 other entries into the contest with her suggested flag, which incorporated symbols of the colonial history of the islands into a fresh design that looked forward towards a bright vision for the future of the country.
The flag of St. Kitts and Nevis features three vertical bands of green, black and red, which are separated by stripes of gold. The middle black band contains two white five-pointed stars. The green band symbolizes the fertility of the land, while the yellow stripes separating the main colors stand for the sunshine and fair weather for which the island is known.
The red section in the lower right-hand corner symbolizes the struggle of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis against colonialism and slavery. The two stars on the flag represent the islands of Nevis and St. Christopher. Finally, the black band represents the countries of Africa, from which many of the island’s residents are descended. Lewis, the winner of the contest, also created the symbolism behind each aspect of the new flag.
An alternative flag for St. Kitts and Nevis contains the entire official flag in the upper left-hand quadrant of a St. George’s Cross, which is the national flag of England. While no longer a British colony, St. Kitts and Nevis belong to the Commonwealth of Nations and Queen Elizabeth II is the official head of state. From 1967 to 1983, the two islands were known as St. Christopher Nevis-Anguilla, and carried a tricolor flag of green, yellow and blue with a palm tree in the middle.
The island of Nevis has its own flag as well, which features the main St. Kitts and Nevis flag in the upper left-hand corner against a yellow background with a green, white and blue peak in the lower right-hand corner. Both the Nevis flag and the St. Kitts and Nevis flag are in use across the island.