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Jamaican Flag History

Updated on June 16, 2017
Colors Of The Jamaican Flag
Colors Of The Jamaican Flag | Source

The Jamaican flag was created on August 6, 1962, when Jamaica became independent from the British protected Federation of the West Indies. The flag was designed with colors of the gold saltire, that separated the colors of the flag into four sections: the top and bottom sections are of green and the two sides of black.

Its present design came from the public in a national competition. horizontal striped were the first design but was thought of as mirroring the Tanganyikan flag, so the Saltaire was adopted. Black green and gold derived from Pan-African colors. Previous interpretations that the colors represented, were of hardship which existed. Green represent the landscapes, and gold represents an abundance of sunshine, and black represented economic hardships. However, changes were made having the colors representing the strength and creativity of the people to overcome overwhelming odds in a hard economy which derived from black, yellow of the sunlight, and green for the infinite vegetation of the land.

The Jamaican Coat Of Arms

The Jamaican coat of arms was inherited from the British in 1661of Royal Order. Originally the design was created by William Sancroft, who was then the Archbishop of Canterbury. During the inception of the seal was widely discussed for years of its significance. The original motto was in Latin and referenced two Indians to serve as one body or both to serve together with the Tiano and the Arawak Indians who colonized both indies. The motto was later defined by the British as "Out of Many, One People", and was attributed to the cultural differences that inhabited the lands. Which also reflects the motto of a similar meaning of the USA.

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Jamaican National Fruit

Ackee was not originally from Jamaica it was imported from its origin which was from West Africa (Ghana) during slavery days. Presently grown in Jamaica, the fruit generates an enormous bounty yearly. Ackee's botanical name is Blighia Sapida in honor of Captain William Bligh of "Mutiny on The Bounty" who then took the fruit to England in 1793 from Jamaica. Before recognition of the fruit, it was unknown to science. After awareness of the fruit in 1778, Dr. Thomas Clarke introduced the fruit in the eastern parishes of Jamaica where it was propagated throughout.

The ackee tree will grow to a height of up to 50 feet pending favorable climate conditions. Which bears a red and yellow fruit up to 4'inches long when ripening or (ready for consumption). To know when the fruit is ripe they open into 3 sections and some four sections exposing 3 or 4 shiny seed on top of a yellow body, (the edible portion of the fruit after the seeds are removed). The edible portion of the fruit is known as the "butter" and "cheese". The fruit contains a poison (hypoglycin) which disappears when properly harvested and then cooked. This fruit should not be harvested until the pods open naturally from its branches. Furthermore, the aril of the fruit must be cleaned off the red fiber contained in the edible portion of the fruit washed and then cooked and the water from the cooked fruit discarded.

Jamaica is considered the only island that widely consumes such a fruit. Ackee has been introduced to other West Indian island Central America and Florida although known by a different name.

The fruit has gained popularity in North America due to export from Jamaica, when combined with either cod fish or salt pork is considered the national dish of Jamaica, and a delicacy that stimulates the palette.

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Swallow-Tail Hummingbird

Swallow-Tail Hummingbird is one of the most unique of more than 300 species, found mainly in east-central South America may have migrated to Jamaica and is referred to as the Jamaican National bird.

Their vibrant colors which deemed them as the most beautiful of their species. The distinction between male and female is that the mature male has two long tail streaming behind him in flight, but females are about one-fourth smaller and slightly duller than males on average. For years the humming bird has been credited with immortality and taken centerstage to folklore and song; title, "Doctor Bud a cunny bud, hard bud fe dead" (which means it is a cunning bird which can't be killed easily).

The Arawak Indians spread the belief that the bird has magical powers, and referred to as The God Bird, reincarnated from dead souls. Also referred to as Doctor-bird; a name which remained unsettled because of its erect black crest and tail and top hat which appears to be like that of doctors attire back in the old days, and also the posture of the bird while pollinating flowers. are one of the most unique of more than 300 species, found mainly in east-central South America may have migrated to Jamaica and is referred to as the Jamaican National bird.

Their vibrant colors which deemed them as the most beautiful of their species. The distinction between male and female is that the mature male has two long tail streaming behind him in flight, but females are about one-fourth smaller and slightly duller than males on average. For years the humming bird has been credited with immortality and taken center stage in folklore and song; title, "Doctor Bud a cunny bud, hard bud fe dead" (which means it is a cunning bird which can't be killed easily).

The Arawak Indians spread the belief that the bird has magical powers, and referred to as The God Bird, reincarnated from dead souls. Also referred to as Doctor-bird; a name which remained unsettled because of its erect black crest and tail and top hat which appears to be like that of a doctors attire back in the old days, and also the posture of the bird while pollinating flowers.

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An interesting and informative hub on the history of the Jamaican Flag. An educational hub indeed.

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