Saint Kitts and Nevis, also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is the Western Hemisphere’s smallest country both in terms of population and area. Two main islands, Saint Kitts (Saint Christopher Island) and Nevis comprise the country which is part of West Indies in the Caribbean.
Brief History of Saint Kitts and Nevis
The Ciboney and the Arawak peoples were the earliest inhabitants of the islands. Island Caribs invaded the islands in 800 CE. Centuries later, Europeans started arriving on the islands. The English had settled here by 1623 and was soon followed by the French. Soon, both the British and the French learned that to earn profits during their stay in Saint Kitts and Nevis, they had to subdue the Island Caribs first. In 1626, the joint forces of the two European powers massacred thousands of the Island Caribs on the island. The territory of Saint Kitts came under British control in 1713. In the late 19th century, the two islands of St. Kitts and Nevis were unified along with Anguilla by the British. This unified territory became an associated state in 1967. A decade later, Anguilla separated from this union after a revolution by its people. In 1983, St. Kitts and Nevis emerged as a fully independent country.
History of the National Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis
After the Federation of Saint Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla collapsed, and Anguilla separated from the union, a new flag was needed to represent unified St. Kitts and Nevis. The previous flag of the federation had to be replaced since its symbols were based on the concept of a union of three. A national-level competition was held to select a flag to represent St. Kitts and Nevis. 258 entries were examined and the design of Edrice Lewis, a student, was selected from among them. The national flag of the country was first hoisted on September 19, 1983, the day when the country attained its independence.
Design of Saint Kitts and Nevis’s Flag
The flag of the country features a black band with yellow edges running diagonally from the lower corner of the flag's hoist-side to the upper fly-side corner. The two resulting triangles at the upper and lower side of the flag are colored green and red, respectively. The diagonal band has two white five-pointed stars on it.
Meaning of the Colors and Symbols of the Flag
Each of the colors and symbols used in the country’s national flag has symbolic meanings. The green color of the flag represents the fertile land of the nation. The red color symbolizes the people’s struggle for freedom from years of slavery and colonial rule. The black color in the flag represents the African origin of the people inhabiting the country. The yellow color epitomizes sunshine. The two stars of the flag symbolize the two islands of Saint Christopher (the formal name of Saint Kitts) and Nevis. The stars also represent liberty and hope.