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About Trinidad & Tobago

National Symbols

Home  -  About Trinidad & Tobago  -  National Symbols
The Coat of Arms  |  The National Flag  |  National Flower  |  National Birds  |  National Anthem

The Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago was designed by a committee formed in 1962 to select the symbols that would be representative of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. The committee included noted artist Carlyle Chang and designer the late George Bailey.

The Coat of Arms with the accompanying motifs which represent indigenous features of Trinidad and Tobago were selected and formally agreed to be used as the Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago in 1962, in a design approved by the College of Arms.

The Birds represented on the Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago are the Scarlet Ibis, the Cocrico (native to Tobago) and the Hummingbird. The three ships represent the Trinity as well as the three ships of Columbus. The three Peaks were principal motifs of Trinidad's early British Colonial Seals and Flag-Badges. They commemorated both Columbus' decision to name Trinidad after the Blessed Trinity and the three Peaks of the Southern mountain range, called the "Three Sisters" on the horizon. The fruited Coconut Palm dates back to the great seals of British Colonial Tobago in the days when the Island was a separate administrative unit.

Our Motto

Together we aspire, Together we achieve" - speaks for itself and promotes harmony in diversity for national achievement.

Arms

Per chevron enhanced sable and gules a chevrenel enhanced argent between a chief two Hummingbirds respect ant gold and in base three ships of the period of Christopher Columbus also gold the sails set proper.

Crest

Upon a Wreath argent and gules in front of a Palm Tree proper a ship's wheel gold.

Supporters

Upon a Compartment representing two Islands arising from the sea, on the dexter side a Scarlet Ibis and on the sinister side a Cocrico, both proper and with wings elevated and addorsed.



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The National Flag

The national flag was designed by the Independence Committee and selected to be used as the National Flag in 1962. Its colours are Red, White and Black.

Red is the colour most expressive of our country. It represents the vitality of the land and its people; it is the warmth and energy of the sun, the courage and friendliness of the people.

White is the sea by which these lands are bound: the cradle of our heritage; the purity of our aspirations and the equality of all men under the sun.

The Black represents for us the dedication of the people joined together by one strong bond. It is the colour of strength, of unity, of purpose and of the wealth of the land. The colours chosen represent the elements Earth, Water and Fire which encompass all our past, present and future and inspire us as one united, vital, free and dedicated people.

Description of the National Flag of Trinidad and Tobago: On a Red Field, a Bend Dexter Sable bordered Silver, that is to say, there is on the Red Field a diagonal from left to right in Black bordered with White. The width of the Black and White bands joined side by side at the upper dexter corner of the Flag is on one- fifth of the full length of the Flag, and the width of each White band is one-sixth of the width of the White and Black bands together.



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National Flower

The national flower, the Chaconia, (Warszewiczia Coccinea (Vahl) Kl.), called "Wild Poinsettia" or "Pride of Trinidad and Tobago" is a flaming red forest flower of the family Rubianceae. The title is in honour of the last Spanish Governor of Trinidad and Tobago Don Jose Maria Chacon. This flower, which is known by its long sprays of magnificent vermillion, will be in bloom on every anniversary of our Independence. As an indigenous flower it has been witness to our entire history. It can therefore be said to represent the imperishability of life and the continuity of our Nation. With its colour matching the flaming red of our Flag and Coat of Arms and bearing the same symbolism, the Chaconia harmonizes with the other national Emblems.



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National Birds

The National Birds, which are represented on the Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago, are the Scarlet Ibis, which represents Trinidad, and the Cocrico, which represents Tobago.
 

The Scarlet Ibis (Tantalus Ruber)

The Scarlet Ibis (Tantalus Ruber) is to be found in the Caroni Swamp, Central Trinidad. This beautiful bird is brown when young and its colour changes to red when it is mature.

The Cocrico (Rufus Tailed Guan)

The Cocrico (Rufus Tailed Guan) is a native of Tobago and Venezuela but is not found in Trinidad. It is the only game bird on the island and is referred to as the Tobago Pheasant. It is about the size of a common fowl, brownish in colour with a long tail. They go about in flocks of about six (6) and their quaint calls can be heard especially on early morning and late evenings. Both birds are protected by law.



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The National Anthem

Forged from the love of liberty,
In the fires of hope and prayer,
With boundless faith in our Destiny,
We solemnly declare,
Side by side we stand,
Islands of the blue Caribbean Sea,
This our Native Land,
We pledge our lives to Thee,
Here every creed and race finds an equal place,
And may God bless our Nation,
Here every creed and race finds an equal place,
And may God bless our Nation.

Patrick S. Castagne composed the words and music of the National Anthem in 1962. The words of the National Anthem reflect the nature and the strength of the people of Trinidad and Tobago our courage as one nation working towards living in unity despite our diversity. The National Anthem should be accorded the respect due to it when played, and on no occasion should it be treated with scant courtesy. When the Anthem is being played all persons should pay respect to it by standing to attention. Men in civilian dress should remove their headdress. Commissioned Officers of the Armed Forces, Gazetted Officers of the Police Service, Cadet Force Officers and Officers of the Fire Services, Prisons Service, St John Ambulance Brigade, Red Cross Society, Boy Scouts Association and Girl Guides Association, in uniform are to salute. All other ranks and all other persons are to stand to attention.