Flag of the British Virgin Islands

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Flag of the British Virgin Islands
Flag of the British Virgin Islands.svg
Name Flag of the British Virgin Islands
Use National flag
Proportion 1:2
Adopted 15 November 1960
Design A blue ensign with the Union flag in the top right hand corner and the coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands centre-right.

The flag of the British Virgin Islands was adopted by Royal Warrant on 15 November 1960 after the islands were made into a separate British colony. Previously, the territory was administered as part of the British Leeward Islands.

Description[edit]

The flag of the British Virgin Islands features a defaced Blue Ensign with the Union Flag in the canton, and defaced with the coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands. The coat of arms, which date to the early nineteenth-century, features Saint Ursula holding a flaming gold oil lamp and surrounded by a further eleven lamps, which represent her 11,000 virgin followers. The islands were named after these virgin followers by Christopher Columbus when he discovered the islands in 1493, the multiplicity of islands reminding him of the numerous followers. The motto present on the flag reads Vigilate, which translated from Latin is be watchful.[1] The flag was modified in 1999, when the shield was enlargened and outlined in white.[2]

Etiquette[edit]

The flag of the British Virgin Islands must never been flown abover another flag, indicating superiority, or vice versa, indicating inferiority, nor should it be allowed to drag along the ground. The flag must always be flown in good condition, to do otherwise would be to show disrespect to the nation. Due care mut be taken to ensure the flag is being flown the correct way up. The flag is flown from sunrise to sunset and all government buildings are encouraged to fly it. When a flag is to be disposed, it must be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning in private with respect.[3]

Related flags[edit]

Civil ensign[edit]

The civil ensign (seen below) is a red ensign with the coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands. The red ensign is to be flown on board vessels either registered in the British Virgin Islands or by vessels visiting the British Virgin Islands. The flag was authorised in 2001 and Section 70 of the British Virgin Islands Merchant Shipping Act, 2001 reads:

  1. The red ensign bearing the Virgin Islands’ coat of arms usually worn by merchant ships, or without the coat of arms, is hereby declared to be the proper national colours for all Virgin Islands ships, except in the case of Her Majesty's ships, or in the case of any other ship for the time being allowed to wear any other national colours in pursuance of a warrant from Her Majesty or from the Admiralty.
  2. If any distinctive national colours, except the red ensign or the Union Jack with a white border or any colours usually worn by Her Majesty's ships or resembling those of Her Majesty, or the pendant usually carried by Her Majesty's ships or any pendant resembling that pendant, are or is hoisted on board any Virgin Islands ship without warrant from Her Majesty or from the Admiralty, the master of the ship, the owner if on board the ship, and every other person hoisting the colours or pendant, each commits an offence and for each such offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars.[4]

The blue ensign shall only be used on vessels which belong to or are in the service of the government.[5]

Gubernatorial flag[edit]

The Governor of the British Virgin Islands has a separate flag (also seen below), a Union Flag defaced with the coat of arms. This design is similar to flags of the other Governors in British overseas territories. The gubernatorial flag is for use at Government House when the governor is in residence or within the territory. It is also on the bonnet of the motor-car in which the governor travels on official business. The current governor, in office since 15 August 2014, is John Duncan.[6]

Other images[edit]

Civil Ensign of the British Virgin Islands 







References[edit]

  1. ^ "Virgin Islander Flag". World Atlas. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "Flag of British Virgin Islands". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Territorial Flag". Government of the Virgin Islands. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "British Virgin Islands - Civil (Red) Ensign". CRW Flags. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Virgin Islands - British". CRW Flags. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "Virgin Islands - British". CRW Flags. Retrieved 15 January 2017.