Defining the Nation
On August 6, 1952, the Union Jack was taken down and the Jamaican Flag raised as Jamaica became an independent nation.
The Jamaican national motto is ‘Out of Many One People’, based on the population’s multiracial roots.
The motto is represented on the Coat of Arms, showing a male and female member of the Taino tribe standing on either side of a shield which bears a red cross with five golden pineapples.
The crest shows a Jamaican crocodile mounted on the Royal Helmet of the British Monarchy and mantling.
The Jamaica National Flag
The black, green and gold Flag
“The sun shineth, the land is green and the people are strong and creative” is the symbolism of the colours of the flag. Black depicts the strength and creativity of the people; Gold, the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight; and green, hope and agricultural resources.
Code for use of the Jamaican Flag
- The Jamaican flag should never be allowed to touch the ground or floor. It should not be flown or used only for decorative purposes on anything that is for temporary use and is likely to be discarded, except on state occasions.
- The flag should never be smaller than any other flag flown at the same time.
- When the flag becomes worn and must be replaced, it should be burnt privately and not used for any other purpose than that, for which it was designated.
- Do not place any other flag above or to the right of the Jamaican flag, except at foreign embassies, consulates and missions. (As seen from, say, a building looking outwards, i.e., the left when facing the building.)
- Do not raise any foreign flag publicly, unless the Jamaican flag is also flown, except at foreign embassies, consulates and missions.
- The flag shouldn’t be draped over vehicles, except on military, police and state occasions.
The Jamaica National Flower
LIGNUM VITAE (Guiacum officinale) is indigenous to Jamaica and was found here by Christopher Columbus. It is thought that the name “Wood of Life” was then adopted because of its medicinal qualities. The tree grows best in the dry woodlands along both the North and South coasts of the island. In addition to shedding an attractive blue flower, the plant itself is extremely ornamental. The wood is used for propeller shaft bearings in nearly all the ships sailing the Seven Seas, and because of these, in shipyears, etc., the Lignum Vitae and Jamaica are closely associated. The wood is also used in the manufacturing of curios, sought after by visitors and nationals alike. There is also a thriving export trade
The Jamaica National Tree
The Jamaican national tree – the Blue Mahoe
Blue Mahoe (Hibiscus elatus): This has been regarded as one of our primary economic timbers. It is currently much used for reafforestation and is a valuable source of cabinet timber. Of an attractive blue-green colour with variegated yellow instrusions, it is capable of taking a high polish showing to advantage the variety of grain and colour tones. The trade, local and foreign, consumes annually many thousands of feet of this beautiful timber.