Jamaican Flag

Jamaican Flag



Flag of Jamaican - Description of the Jamaican Flag
  • As the above picture of the Jamaican Flag indicates the background is tri-colored - green, black and yellow
  • A diagonal yellow cross divides the Jamaican flag into four triangles - green (top and bottom) and black (hoist side and outer side)
  • According to Ancient and Heraldic traditions much symbolism is associated with colors. The colors on the Jamaican flag represent the following more modern symbolism and illustrates the meaning and history of the Jamaican flag:
    • Yellow - a symbol of sunshine and natural resources
    • Green - the land and hope for the future
    • Black - the burdens borne by the people

  • The basic style shown in the picture of the Jamaican flag is described as Cross - reflecting the central design of the flag pattern
  • All Flag pictures depict flags flying, from the viewer's point of view, from left to right
  • The shape and flag ratio of the Jamaican flag is described as 1:2 ( length twice the height )
  • The Jamaican National Flag came into use on August 6, 1962

Canton - Flag Terminology

Flag Terminology - Did you Know ?
  • The design and description uses specific flag terminology based on Heraldic principles
  • Animal blazons should always appear with the heads facing the flag - staff side
  • The Study of the Flags is called Vexillology
  • Your interest in flags makes you a Vexillologist!
  • Increase your knowledge - Play the Flag Quiz

Additional interesting information about the Jamaican Flag

We would like extend our grateful thanks to John McGhie who has provided us with the following interesting information about the Jamaican Flag:

"At the time of Jamaican independence from Great Britain on 6 August 1962 I was living in Jamaica with my parents and my father, who was a Presbyterian minister there, was a friend of the Jamaican Prime Minister at the time, Sir Alexander Bustamante. Prior to independence they were discussing the design of the Jamaican flag which was to be a tricolour, when my father said to him that as Jamaica was a Christian country it would be good if the flag could have a cross in it. Sir Alexander asked him what he had in mind so my father traced out the Scottish flag and coloured it in green, black and gold. Sir Alexander liked the idea and so adopted my father's suggestion and design. My father was Rev William McGhie from Glasgow and I think it is important that this background information is known and it is also very important that people know it is based on the Scottish saltire."

Terminology & Etiquette in Jamaican Flag display
  • Hoist - the act or function of raising the Jamaican flag, as on a rope
  • Half Staff or Half Mast - the Jamaican flag is hoisted to half of the potential height of the flag pole to denote grief and mourning
    • Performed by first raising the Jamaican flag to the top, then lowering the Jamaican Flag halfway
  • Distress - denoted by flying the Jamaican flag upside-down
  • Manner of hoisting - The Jamaican flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously
  • No disrespect should be shown to the Jamaican flag
  • The Jamaican flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit the Flag to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way
  • The Jamaican flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing on the flag of any nature
  • The Jamaican flag should be hoisted first and lowered last
  • International Flag relating to Jamaican Flag usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace
  • We hope that the presentation of facts and information regarding Jamaican Flag Etiquette has provided a useful resource
Flag History & Evolution:
  • The idea of flying a flag grew from the requirements of ancient warfare and the battlefield
  • Shields were painted with emblems to identify Friend or Foe
  • Warriors needed to know where their leaders were - the custom of carrying a pole was adopted
  • An emblem such as a shield, animal or religious device was attached to the pole for identification
  • The emblems were also used for identity and to cover suits of armour - Coats of Arms  were born
  • These emblems were the forerunners of modern flags
  • The Romans were the first to use a cloth flag - they were square and fastened to cross bars at the end of spears - the idea of fastening a flag to the side of a pole soon followed
  • The strict rules of Heraldry are still used when designing an emblem and creating a new flag
Jamaican Flag Etiquette
  • Jamaican Flag etiquette is very strict and is is essential that Flag protocols and rules are followed correctly
  • Basic Flag Etiquette applies to all nations, including Jamaican as follows:
  • Etiquette relating to the order of precedence for the flag
    • National Flag of Jamaican
    • State Flag of Jamaican
    • Military Flag of Jamaican (in order of creation date)
    • Other Flag of Jamaican
  • The United Nations uses alphabetical order when presenting a national flag including the Jamaican Flag. Their flag etiquette ensures that no one country's flag has precedence over another country's flag
  • The National flag of Jamaican should never be flown above another national flag on the same staff as this would suggest superiority, or conversely, inferiority of one flag, or Nation, over another
  • The Jamaican flag should never be allowed to drag along the ground
  • A tattered or faded flag of Jamaican should be removed and replaced with a new flag
  • Due care and consideration must be taken to ensure that the Jamaican flag is always flown the correct way up
  • A Flag of Jamaican, when in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning in private with all due care and respect

National Flags of the World Map


Location: Caribbean, island in the
Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba



  • Jamaican Land Size : 10,991 sq km
  • Jamaican Climate / Weather : tropical; hot, humid; temperate interior
  • Jamaican Population : 2,713,130 (July 2004 est.)
  • Former Name(s) : n/a
  • Capital City of Jamaica : Kingston
  • Jamaican GDP : $10.21 billion (2003 est.)
  • Jamaican Main Industries : tourism, bauxite/alumina, textiles, agro processing, wearing apparel, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications
  • Currency of Jamaica : Jamaican dollar (JMD)
  • Jamaican Agricultural products : sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, vegetables, poultry, goats, milk, crustaceans, and mollusks
  • Main Colors of Jamaican Flag : green, black and yellow
  • Jamaican is commonly mis-spelt as Jamacan
Concise Jamaican History its Flag
  • The Ciboney, Arawak and the Carib Indians first inhabited Jamaica
  • The name of the country derives from the Arawak name Xamayca, meaning land of wood and water
  • The Caribs and the Arawaks were tropical forest people who probably originated in South America and were related the people found anywhere from Panama to Brazil
  • Not discovered by Europeans until 1492 when Christopher Columbus first landed in the New World
  • Columbus used it as his family's private estate
  • The Spanish claimed the Islands
  • The Caribs and the Arawaks were progressively wiped out by the after-effects of the Spanish conquest, with the more peaceful Arawak tribes suffering the greater losses
  • The Spanish were continuously harassed by the native Caribs and by pirates and buccaneers who attacked the Spanish galleons which were carrying riches back to Spain
  • The pirates who operated in the Islands included Blackbeard, Calico Jack, Anne Bonny, Henry Morgan, Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake
  • The British seized the island in 1670
  • Jamaica became the world's largest sugar exporting nation with the massive use of imported African slave labor
  • The Jamaican sugar plantations, worked by African slaves,  lead to a slave trading and slave auctions
  • In 1838 slavery was formally abolished
  • 1914 - 1918 WW1
  • 1939 - 1945 WW11
  • August 1945 The United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • 1958 Jamaica became a province of the Federation of the West Indies
  • Jamaica separated from the federation and became independent, within the British Commonwealth, in 1962


Sir John Hawkins

Sir Francis Drake

"Around the World in 80 minutes!"
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  • In just a short period of time this concise information with specific facts will improve your overall understanding of the great countries of the World
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The Jamaican Flag and Nation

We hope that the presentation of facts and information regarding the Jamaican Flag and Nation has provided a useful educational resource. To improve your knowledge of Flags and Vexillology still further check out the Flag and Nations Index and test your knowledge with our interactive, multi-choice, picture-based Flag Trivia Quiz Game


Jamaican Flag

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