Last modified: 2020-07-04 by rob raeside
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(2:3) image by eljko Heimer, 24 Febuary 2001
Official Name: Barbados
Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy (Queen Elizabeth II)
Flag adopted: 30 November 1966
Designer: Grantley Prescod
Coat of arms adopted: 21 December 1966
ISO Code: BB
National flag. CSW/C-- 2:3 - Different sources differ in the
representation of the shape of the trident - possibly it is not
entirely defined or it may have changed over the years. All
sources seem to agree that the blue shade is lighter then the
standard blue used in the UJ (and in the Governor
General of Barbados flag) and yellow is in all representation
dark, almost orange. [smi80]
designate the flag as CSW/CSW, but since BB has no navy and since
(as it seems) the white ensign was introduced in the mean time (Naval and Coast Guard Ensign), the usage
designation seems to be all right as shown in Album 2000.
eljko Heimer, 24 February 2001
Barbados flag colour shades from Album 2000 [pay00] are:
Pantone --- CMYK
B 280c --- 100-70-0-20
Y 123c --- 0-30-90-0
Santiago Dotor, 26 February 2001
When I was in Barbados I checked the flag. The blue was
uniformly a medium-dark; darker than that usually seen in the
French flag, for example, but lighter than that of the US. I'd
simply call it B+ in quick descriptions. Likewise the yellow is
Y+, rather rich in tone.
Al Kirsch, 26 February 2001
According to Politikens Flagbook [rya00a] the flag was the winning proposal in a
nation-wide contest, and was designed by a Grantley Prescod, teacher of arts.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 7 October 2001
In English heraldry a "barbe" is a trident with
barbed points, hence the world's only canting national flag (as
far as I know), Barbados.
James Dignan, 9 November 2004
The word "Barbados" comes from Portuguese (or maybe
Spanish) meaning "beard [ones]", referring to local
mangrove-like sea-side trees. So, as we know, the trident is more
recent than the name, and its etymology is convoluted (though not
António Martins, 9 November 2004
A few extra facts were found on this official page.
British Standard colour code numbers: "Ultramarine: BCC148, Gold: BS0/002".
The designer of above flag, Grantley W. Prescod, died in 2003. Quote from above site concerning the flag's selection process and some biographical information:
"His design was chosen from 1,029 entries in an open competition organised by the Government of Barbados. Mr. Prescod was awarded a Gold Medal, an inscribed scroll from the government and $500 which was donated by the Advocate Company Limited. The judges of the competition were Mr. Bruce St. John, Chairman, Major Leonard Banfield, Mr. Maurice Cave, Mr. Neville Connell, Mrs. Enid Lynch and Mrs. B. Ward.
Mr. Prescod attended St. Barnabas Boys School. He taught before undertaking a one year course at the West of England College of Art for Specialist Teachers of Art in 1962-63. He also attained a certificate in Education from Bristol University. Between 1967-72 he studied f[or] the Master of Education degree majoring in Art Education at Temple University, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
Mr. Prescod has taught at the Parkinson Secondary School. He served as an Education Officer from September 1977 until he retired in February 1987.
Mr. Prescod died on November 12, 2003 at the age of 77."
Obituary, photo, and more design details (quote following) at www.islandmix.com.
"Prescod did not only win the competition to design the island's symbol of Independence, he actually made the first Barbados flag, after having been sent to Cave Shepherd by then Premier Errol Barrow to choose the lightest of fabrics in the identified colours.
In an interview last year, Prescod recalled that he chose "yards and yards and made about seven large flags". A neighbour of his sewed the pieces together."
Jan Mertens, 3 November 2007
It was announced on 23 of March 2015 that Barbados was to move to become a
Republic on the fiftieth anniversary of its independence, 30th November 2016, by
its Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. This would also mark the fiftieth
anniversary of the flag of Barbados. Becoming a republic would make two flags of
Barbados obsolete, these being the Queen's personal flag
for Barbados and the Governor General's flag for
Barbados. A Presidential flag may be created for Barbados when a republic is
declared. A fiftieth anniversary of independence logo has also been designed
consisting of a stylized golden fifty with trident over blue script Barbados
under which reads Pride and Industry over 1966-2016.
John Moody, 12 March 2016
The protocol manual for the
London 2012 Olympics
(Flags and Anthems Manual
London 2012 [loc12]) provides recommendations
for national flag designs. Each
was sent an image of the flag, including the
PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced
a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may
not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what
believed the flag to be.
For Barbados: PMS 280 blue, 123 yellow and black. The vertical version is simply the flag turned through 90 degrees anti-clockwise.
Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012
The blue on the left is for the sky, the gold for the sand,
the right blue for the sea. The trident in the middle represents
the break with England at independence - the trident is broken,
thus only the top is showing. The name of Barbados comes from the
Portuguese name Os Barbados meaning bearded one, because
of the bearded fig tree that used to cover the island. The three
points of the trident represent the three principles of democracy
- government of, for and by the people.
James Dignan, 22 November 1995, "Amanda" from Barbados, 20 May 1998
According to Politikens Flagbook [rya00a] (my translation):
"Prescod explains the stripes as symbol for the blue sea and
the golden sand, that encircle the island. The trident is taken
from the previous flag-charge, which showed Britannia holding a
trident (symbol for her rule
over the seas). Here, the trident is without shaft as a symbol
for the break with the colonial past. Simultaneously it
symbolizes the sea god Neptune and reflects the sea's large
significance for Barbados."
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 7 October 2001
from the official site of the Barbados government :
image by eljko Heimer and António Martins-Tuválkin, 14 December 2005
When reporting BB stamps with flags, Ron Lahav
mentioned a Barbados flag with horizontal rather than vertical
stripes, which is shown in stamp
SG 677, issued in 1981 for the Carifesta (Caribbean Festival
of Arts), Barbados.
I cannot swear that the thing in the middle of this blue-yellow-blue horizontal equal triband is a black trident, but there's something there alright.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 14 December 2005
The Government of Barbados Information Service does proclaim that it is the
Barbados flag at www.barbados.gov.bb.
Ned Smith, , 14 December 2005
This is not correct. There is no Horizontal
variant. This layout is used in banners at parades and
to decorate buildings on Independence day. It represents the
national colours but is not a flag. It is never used as a
flag. The image on the stamp must be an art error, or
it was a special event banner on that occasion.
Craig Ashby, 19 June 2006
Barbados is divided to 11 parishes. There are no known flags
of those parishes. The parishes are:
- Saint Andrew
- Christ Church
- Saint Peter
- Saint George
- Saint John
- Saint Lucy
- Saint Michael
- Saint Joseph
- Saint Philip
- Saint James
- Saint Thomas
List based on Administrative divisions of the World.
Dov Gutterman, 25 October 2004
According to this WMO
page, Barbados uses signals 45a and 41a: 45a, a green flag,
is defined as "The island is out of danger. The green flag
of the day signal has a white diagonal stripe" which really
means that the 45a picture does not apply to Barbados, as it is
incomplete. 41a is the well-known set of two black flags pierced
red, meaning "Hurricane conditions are expected within 24
Jan Mertens, 1 November 2007
The 100th anniversary of Barbados Cadet Corps was commemorate
with a series of stamps, one
of which show its flag.
Barbados Postal Service web site show it at: bps.gov.bb with a description:
"The Cadet Banner features the Corps Crest worn on the headdress of the Cadet Corps members. The Crest, which is blue and gold, is set on a blue background. Over the years the Cadet Crest has been in the form of the Star of David. The centre design of the Crest has been altered each time there has been a change within the structure of the military in Barbados. For instance, in the days of the Barbados Regiment, the Crest showed the Queen with the Trident in hand. The current Crest shows the hand holding two pieces of sugar cane which is part of the Coat of Arms of Barbados. This Banner was established within the early 1980s after the establishment of the Barbados Defence Force.
Dov Gutterman, 24 September 2008
I feel bound to point out that the lady brandishing the
trident in the erstwhile colonial badge of Barbados was, in fact,
Peter Johnson, 24 September 2008