What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Dominica Mean?

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe on February 23 2018 in World Facts

The flag of Dominica is unique for its feature of a parrot in the center.

Dominica, also known as the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an Island republic located in the Caribbean Sea. The national flag of Dominica is a green banner with a cross at the center stretching to the edges of the flag. The cross has three bands of yellow, black, and white. On the horizontal band, yellow is at the top, black in the middle, and white at the bottom while on the vertical band yellow comes first, then black, and white last. At the middle of the cross sits a red circle containing a purple Sisserou parrot perched on a brown branch and overlooking the hoist side. The parrot has a purple chest and head, yellow claws, and green wings. Ten green five-pointed stars surround the parrot. The flag was designed by Alwin Bully in 1978, at a time when the country was preparing for independence from the British colonial masters.

Meaning Of The Colors And Symbols

The Dominican flag was officially adopted on November 3, 1978, and it has undergone some minor changes since then to its present-day form. The Sisserou parrot is considered the national emblem in Dominica, and it is a bird endemic to the country. The parrot, also known as the Imperial/Dominican Amazon, is an endangered species with fewer than 350 birds present in the country today. Blue and purple are sometimes used interchangeably on the parrot on the flag, but purple is the parrot's actual color. Dominica is one of few countries to feature the purple color on its flag. Green on the flag symbolizes the abundant vegetation present on the island. Dominica has an abundant rainforest which is home to several plants and animals; this has earned the island the title nature island of the Caribbean. The cross symbolizes the Holy Trinity and the Christianity religion on the island. Dominica is largely a Roman Catholic nation with about 80% of the population relating to the religion though there is also a sizeable number of Protestants. Yellow which is present on the three stripes of the cross represents the Indians native to the Island. The Kalinago are the indigenous people of the Caribbean, and they were formerly known as Carib Indians. Dominica is the only remaining island in the Eastern Caribbean with the population of the Kalinago. Black symbolizes the rich fertile soil of the island while white stands for pure water. The ten green stars surrounding the parrot represent the ten parishes of the island. Dominica is divided into ten administrative divisions known as parishes, and they include St. Paul, St. David, St. Luke, St. Joseph, St. George, St. Andrew, St. John, St. Mark, St. Peter, and St. Patrick. The red disc signifies social justice.

Former Versions Of The Flag

The first version of the flag used from 1978 to 1988 did not bear significant differences with the present day flag. The only difference was the parrot, which faced the fly end instead of the hoist side. The current flag was put to use as from 1990 after changes which made the parrot face the hoist side.

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