Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis.svg
Use National flag and civil and state ensign
Proportion 2:3
Adopted September 19, 1983
Design A yellow-edged black band dividing diagonally from the lower hoist-side corner containing two white stars. The upper triangle is green and the lower triangle is red.
Designed by Edrice Lewis
Naval Ensign of Saint Kitts and Nevis.svg
Variant flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Name Naval Ensign of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Use Naval ensign
Proportion 1:2

The flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis consists of a yellow-edged black band containing two white stars that divides diagonally from the lower hoist-side corner, with a green upper triangle and red lower triangle. Adopted in 1983 to replace the flag of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, it has been the flag of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis since the country gained independence that year. Although the flag utilizes the colours of the Pan-Africanist movement, the symbolism behind them is interpreted differently.[1]

History[edit]

In 1882, the British amalgamated Saint Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla into a single colony called the British Leeward Islands.[2] The three islands later became part of the West Indies Federation in 1958; after this dissolved four years later, they were granted the status of associate state as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla.[3] However, Anguilla decided to secede from the federation in 1969,[4] owing to fears that their population, which was already small, would be further marginalized in parliament.[3] This was eventually formalized in 1980,[4] and a new flag for the remaining parts of the federation was needed, since the symbolism of the previous flag centered around the concept of a union of three.[3]

Flag of Nevis.

A national competition was held in the early 1980s to choose a new flag. The winning design by student Edrice Lewis was one of 258 entries.[5] It was first hoisted one minute after midnight on September 19, 1983, the day Saint Kitts and Nevis became an independent country.[6][7]

Design[edit]

Symbolism[edit]

The colors and symbols of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. The green alludes to the country's fertile land, while the red evokes the fight for freedom against slavery and colonialism. The yellow stripes represent the sunshine the islands enjoy all year round and the black epitomizes the people's African origins.[3][5] The two stars on the black band symbolize Saint Christopher and Nevis[3][8]—the two islands that make up the federation—as well as "hope and liberty."[5][8] The official meaning behind the flag's symbols was formulated by Edrice Lewis, the same person who designed the flag.[5]

Historical flags[edit]

Flag Duration Use Description
Flag of the West Indies Federation.svg 1958–62 Flag of the West Indies Federation A blue field with four white horizontal wavy bars (the top pair of bars being parallel and the lower pair also parallel) and an orange sun in the centre.
Flag of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla.svg 1967–83 Flag of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla A vertical tricolour of green, yellow and blue charged with a palm tree at the centre.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shaw, Carol P. (1992). Flags. HarperCollins UK. ISBN 0-00-470114-3. 
  2. ^ Olson, James Stuart; Shadle, Robert, eds. (1996). Historical Dictionary of the British Empire: K–Z. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 972–973. ISBN 9780313293672. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Smith, Whitney. "Saint Kitts and Nevis, flag of". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved June 10, 2013.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b Olson, James Stuart; Shadle, Robert, eds. (January 1, 1991). Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 28. ISBN 9780313262579. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d Kindersley, Dorling (November 3, 2008). Complete Flags of the World. Dorling Kindersley Ltd. p. 33. ISBN 9781405333023. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ Hagman, Harvey (September 20, 1983). "Newest Caribbean Flag Is Raised Over Tiny State Of St. Kitss–Nevis". The Miami Herald. Associated Press. p. 18A. Retrieved June 10, 2013.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ Sewell, Dan (September 19, 1983). "St. Kitts–Nevis: New nation born". The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg). Associated Press. p. 4. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Saint Kitts and Nevis". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 10, 2013.