The Flag of Barbados

Barbados is an island nation just east of Central America, and one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. It was discovered by both the Spanish and Portuguese, but finally claimed by England, and remained a British colony until 1966. In that year it became an independent nation, but chose to remain part of the Commonwealth and retain the monarch as its head of state. Barbados adopted the current flag on its first Independence Day—November 30, 1966. The flag of Barbados has three equal vertical bands—two of them in a shade of blue called ultramarine, with a center stripe in gold or yellow. In the center of the gold band is a black trident head, known as the broken trident. The trident comes from the colonial badge, on which a trident appeared prominently, and the fact that it is broken shows that Barbados has symbolically broken with the colonial past. The three points on the trident evoke the three points of democracy: government of the people, by the people and for the people. The blue represents the sea, an important source of livelihood for Barbados, and the gold stands for the sunshine that shines down on it.