As there is both a United States part of the Virgin Islands and a British part, there are two flags for the Virgin Islands. The flag of the United States Virgin Islands is a golden eagle on a white background with a shield in the center. The shield is blue on top and then red and white striped on the rest of it. The eagle clutches an olive branch in its left talons and three blue arrows in the right. The letters V and I in blue are under each of the eagle’s outstretched wings. The arrows stand for the three major islands, which are Saint Thomas, Saint John, and Saint Croix. The colors incorporated into the flag all have meaning. The yellow stands for the land, the green for the hills, white for the clouds, blue for the water and red for love.
The idea to create a flag for the United States Virgin Islands was put into place by Rear Admiral Summer Ely Whitmore, who became governor in 1921. He charged a Captain White and cartoonist Percival Wilson Sparks with coming up with an idea. They did and Whitmore’s wife and her sister embroidered the design.
The flag of the British Virgin Islands is a blue flag with the Union Jack in the upper left corner. In the right portion of the flag is the coat of arms of the Virgin Islands. The coat of arms is a green shield depicting a woman dressed in white. The woman is supposed to be Saint Ursula who allegedly took 11,000 virgin handmaidens on a trip across Europe. The woman holds a golden lamp in one hand and surrounding her are 11 other golden lamps. The lamps represent the virgins and therefore the islands. Beneath the shield is a golden banner that reads Vigilate in all capital letters.
An alternative flag of the British Virgin Islands is the civil ensign, which is identical to the official flag except for the background being red instead of blue. The flag for the Governor of the British Virgin Islands is a Union Jack with the coat of arms in the center within a white circle.