The flag of Jamaica consists of a gold saltire (St. Andrew’s Cross), which divides the flag into four triangular sections: two green sections (top and bottom) and two black (left/hoist and right/fly). It was designed by a bipartisan committee of the Jamaica House of Representatives. Originally, the design consisted only of horizontal stripes of green, gold and black at the top center and bottom respectively. However, the flag had a close resemblance to the flag of Tanganyika, leading to its redesign with the yellow/gold cross and four triangles.
“The sun shineth, the land is green, and the people are strong and creative”, is the symbolism of the colors of the Jamaican Flag. Black depicts the strength and creativity of the people; Gold, the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight; and green, hope and agricultural resources. The Jamaican flag is the only current national flag in the world that does not feature any of the colors; red, white or blue.
In 1962, Jamaica was the first Caribbean country to gain independence from the United Kingdom. On Midnight of August 5, 1962, the Union Jack was lowered, and the new national flag of Jamaica was raised on the stroke of Independence Day, Monday August 6. The principal ceremony took place at the National Stadium in Kingston, with smaller ceremonies being held in all the island’s parishes.
The flag of Jamaica signifies the birth of the nation. The flag brings to mind memories of past achievements and gives inspiration towards further success. It is flown on many triumphant occasions, showing the pride that Jamaicans have in their country and in the flag itself.
Despite claiming independence, Jamaica chose to remain a member of the Commonwealth. Therefore, Queen Elizabeth II is still their head of state.