Flag of Saint Lucia

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Saint Lucia
Flag of Saint Lucia
Use National flag and civil ensign
Proportion 1:2
Adopted March 1, 1967
Design Light blue field charged with a yellow triangle in front of a white-edged black arrowhead
Designed by Dunstan St. Omer
Flag of the Governor-General of Saint Lucia.svg
Standard of the Governor-General of Saint Lucia
Proportion 1:2
Adopted 1979

The flag of Saint Lucia consists of a light blue field charged with a yellow isosceles triangle in front of a white-edged black arrowhead. Adopted in 1967 to replace the British Blue Ensign defaced with the arms of the colony, it has been the flag of Saint Lucia since the country became an Associated State of the United Kingdom that year. Although the overall design of the flag has remained unchanged, specific aspects of it have been altered over the years.

History[edit]

The French colonized Saint Lucia in 1635 and subsequently signed a treaty with the local indigenous population 45 years later in 1680.[1] However, the British vied for control with the French, and the island frequently switched hands between the two superpowers.[2] This continued until 1814, when the Treaty of Paris was signed that saw France permanently relinquish Saint Lucia to the British,[2] and it became a crown colony of the United Kingdom within its colonial empire in that same year.[1] During this colonial period of French and British rule, Saint Lucia did not have its own unique colonial flag.[3]

The British finally granted Saint Lucia its own unique coat of arms in August 1939. The escutcheon consisted of a black shield featuring two sticks of bamboo forming a cross, with two Tudor roses symbolizing England and two fleurs-de-lis symbolizing France occupying the four quadrants. This emblem was utilized to deface the British Blue Ensign in order to form the territory's flag.[3]

The island became part of the West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1962.[1] However, this political union turned out to be unsuccessful, and on March 1, 1967 – five years after the federation was dissolved – Saint Lucia became an Associated State.[3] This gave the territory full control over domestic matters, while Britain retained responsibility for the island's foreign affairs and defence.[1] The territory's new flag, which was designed by native Saint Lucian artist Dunstan St. Omer,[4][5] was adopted on that same day.[6] When Saint Lucia became an independent country on February 22, 1979, the overall design of the flag from twelve years before remained unchanged,[6][7] but the blue colour's shade and the triangles' sizes were modified marginally.[3] Despite the fact that the island already had its own distinct flag by the time it became a sovereign state, the Union Jack was still lowered for the final time at the official ceremony marking independence.[8]

Design[edit]

Symbolism[edit]

A 1903 image of the Pitons, the two conical volcanic edifices that are stylised as the two central triangles of the flag

The colours and symbols of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. The blue epitomizes the sky and the sea,[9] specifically the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea which encircle the country.[3] The black and white allude to the harmonious relationship between the two cultures that dominate the country,[3][6] with the proportions accurately reflecting the ethnic composition of the island as people of African descent comprise 85.3% of the country's population.[9] The yellow symbolizes the sunshine,[3] as well as prosperity.[9] The two triangles represent the Pitons,[6] which are twin volcanic cones located in the southwest part of the island.[3] Consisting of Gros Piton and Petit Piton, they are a national symbol of Saint Lucia.[9]

Historical flags[edit]

Flag Duration Use Description
Flag of Saint Lucia (1939-1967).svg 1939–1967 Flag of the colony of Saint Lucia A British Blue Ensign defaced with the arms of the colony. This consisted of a black shield featuring two sticks of bamboo forming a cross, with two Tudor roses symbolizing England and two fleurs-de-lis symbolizing France occupying the four quadrants.
Flag of Saint Lucia (1967-1979).svg 1967–1979 Flag of Saint Lucia A blue field charged with a yellow triangle in front of a white-edged black arrowhead.
Flag of Saint Lucia (1979-2002).svg 1979–2002 Flag of Saint Lucia A dark blue field charged with a yellow triangle in front of a white-edged black arrowhead. The yellow triangle was enlarged and the arrowhead made narrower.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "St Lucia profile". BBC News (BBC). October 18, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "History of St Lucia". Lonely Planet. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Smith, Whitney (June 26, 2014). "Flag of Saint Lucia". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved September 26, 2014.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ Orr, Tamra (2008). Saint Lucia. Marshall Cavendish. p. 96. 
  5. ^ Newton, Richard (February 12, 2000). "St Lucia: Michelangelo of the Caribbean". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d Kindersley Ltd., Dorling (6 January 2009). Complete Flags of the World. Penguin. p. 36. 
  7. ^ "Island of St. Lucia fights independence from Britain". The Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, Iowa). United Press International. February 21, 1979. p. 23. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Little Caribbean island goes it alone". The Miami News. Associated Press. February 22, 1979. p. 2A. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Saint Lucia". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 

External links[edit]