The flag, adopted in 1978, features the national bird emblem, the sisserou parrot, which also appears on the coat of arms granted on 21 July 1961. This parrot, endemic to Dominica, is an endangered species with a population of only 250-350 individuals.
The sisserou parrot is sometimes coloured either blue or purple (the parrot's actual colour). The use of purple makes the flag of Dominica the only flag of a sovereign state to include the color. However, the flag of Nicaragua features a rainbow and therefore, violet.