National Symbols Of Grenada
The Coat-of-Arms represents the distillation of a national effort to produce armorial bearings for an independent Grenada, incorporating important historical and indigenous features of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, in a design approved by the College of Arms.
The Coat-of-Arms comprises:
- The Livery Coat or Colour on a Shield
- Charges or Devices on the Shield
- The Helm of special design
- The Mantle which covers the Helm
- The Wreath to hold the Mantle in place
- The Crest
- The Motto
The National colours of Red, Gold and Green, which comprise the National Flag, are used on the shield with the same symbolism attached to them.
The ship Santa Maria at the centre point of the shield and Gold Cross represent Grenada’s sighting by Christopher Columbus, and our continuing link with yachting and tourism.
The Gold Cross itself is significant of God consciousness which underlines the national effort.
The Lion is the first quarter of the shield, and repeated in the fourth, symbolises strength, and the unswerving determination to face the challenges of nationhood with courage and resourcefulness.
The Madonna Lily resting between the horns of the Crescent, (inspired by Murillo’s famous painting of the Immaculate Conception) indicates that Grenada has, since its sighting by Columbus, been dedicated to Mary of the Immaculate Conception and in whose honour the island was named Conception Island; the shield itself rests in a valley between two mountains, representing the spectacularly picturesque topography of the islands
The Grand Etang Lake is also represented amid luxuriant green vegetation in the foreground of which is placed a sprig of cocoa, with a ripe pod balanced by a sprig of nutmeg also showing the ripe fruit. Growing from the vegetation on the left side of the shield is a stalk of maize flowering and bearing three ears of ripened cobs and on the right a banana tree bearing a full bunch. The fruits all represent Grenada’s traditional link with an agricultural economy; the cradle of their heritage.
The Helm is a royal helm, a gold helmet facing front and having seven gold bars across the visor, the interior lined purple. A star symbolic of our hopes, aspirations and ideals is placed to the forefront. The crest is made up of seven roses, representative of the seven parishes and set between the two sprays of bougainvillea, the national flower.
The supporters are, on the left, a Tattoo or Armadillo and on the right, the Grenada Dove, representative of the fauna on the islands.
Grenada’s motto, “Ever conscious of God, we aspire, build and advance as one people”, is itself sufficiently eloquent on the subject of those high ideals and principles upon which the nation is founded.
The Coat-of-Arms or Seal, adopted at Independence, replaced the one introduced in April 1903, with the Latin motto:”Clarior e Tenebris”. The seal appears on all official documents generally in black and white or, on more important occasions, in colour.
The National Flag of Grenada represents the distillation of a national effort to produce an emblem of a nation that can stand for all time and which incorporates simplicity of form, a pleasing visual quality and, not least, is symbolic of the confidence, hope and aspirations of a courageous people accepting the challenge of nationhood.
The components of the flag have the following significance:
- Red: represents the fervour of the people, their courage and vitality – their burning aspiration to be free. The red border is indicative of their dedication to preserve harmony and unity of spirit.
- Gold: the colour representative of wisdom also holds significance for Grenadians – a representation of the sun, their islands in the sun, the warmth and friendliness to their people.
- Green: symbolises the fertility of the land, the lush vegetation and the island’s agriculture.
- The Seven Gold Stars: represents the seven parishes and the hopes and aspirations and ideas upon which the nation was founded.
- The Nutmeg: represents the reputation as the Isle of Spice and its traditional link with the economy.
The Flag of Grenada was designed by Anthony C. George of Soubise in the Parish of St. Andrew. Grenada received independence from the United Kingdom on February 7, 1974 and adopted its flag on this day.
The dimensions of the National Flag shall be in the following proportions:
Flown on land: five to three (5:3)
Flown on Sea: two to one (2:1)
The following code should be observed in relation to the flag:
- The flag is to be regarded as the sacred emblem of the nation to be paid due reverence and devotion by all its citizens.
- The flag should never be allowed to touch the ground or floor nor should it be flown or used for purely decorative purposes on anything that is for temporary use and likely to be discarded, except on state occasions.
- The National Flag should not be flown after sunset, except inside a building. However, on important ceremonial occasions, the flag may be displayed in the open after sunset when it should be floodlit if possible.
- The flag should be flown on all government and municipal buildings and offices, on or near the main administrative building, but it is recommended if possible each day it should be lowered at sundown and raised at 8:00am.
- No other flag should be placed above or to the right of the Grenadian Flag, except at foreign embassies, consulates and missions.
Hail Grenada, land of ours
We pledge ourselves to thee
Heads, hearts and hands in unity
To reach our destiny
Ever conscious of God
Being proud of our heritage
May we with faith and courage
Aspire, build, advance
As one people, one family
God bless our nation.
Writen by Irva Blackette Nee Baptiste
Arranged by Louis Masanto
Overview on the Grenada Dove
The Grenada Dove (Leptotila wellsi), is found only on Grenada. Originally known as the Pea Dove or Well’s Dove, it is the National Bird of Grenada. It is considered to be one of the most critically endangered doves in the world (Bird Life International 2000).
The Grenada Dove is characterised by a white throat; face and forehead pale pink shading to dull brown on crown and nape; upperparts olive brown; underwing chestnut; neck and upper breast pink-buff fading to white on lower breast, belly and undertail coverts.
In 1996, parts of Mt Hartman and Perseverance were declared a national park and a protected area, respectively. The pre-hurricane Ivan population increase may be in part the result of the protection of critical dove habitat areas. A recovery plan was drafted in 1997. In 1999, a workshop to develop a 4-year GEF-funded Dry Forest Biodiversity Conservation Project was drafted based on stakeholder input.
- When a Grenada Dove is flushed from a perch, it will fly to the ground and walk away. It likely evolved without ground predators, which now include mongoose, rats, and feral cats.
- No Grenada Doves have been seen outside the forest nor flying above the forest canopy. They are possibly isolated to the patches of remaining habitat. Dispersal patterns are not yet known.
- Within the forest, flight has only been observed from one perch to another, from a perch to the ground and from the ground to a tree. All other observations have been of doves walking on the ground. During the non-breeding season at Mt. Hartman, a pair of doves was observed walking side-by-side.
- The Mt. Hartman National Park was established by the Government of Grenada in 1996 to ensure the protection of the endemic Grenada Dove in one of the key habitats for the bird on the island. The National Park has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA) for the Grenada Dove.
- Grenada Dove is listed by BirdLife International, the official Red List Authority for birds for the IUCN Red List, as Critically Endangered. As such it faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. For an up-to-date species account of the Grenada Dove, its population and distributions; visit the BirdLife World Bird.
Grenada’s national dish is called “Oil down“. It is a simple, delicious and robust dish, which is very popular in local restaurants. It’s a hearty onepot meal of salted meat, chicken, dumplings, breadfruit, callaloo – made from young dasheen leaves and other vegetables. The whole thing is stewed in coconut milk, herbs and spices to add even more flavour.
8-10 young dasheen
1 sprig celery, chive and thyme
2 medium carrots chopped
2 green peppers chopped
1 lb dumplings
2 tps tumeric (saffon)
1/2 lb Salt meat (pre-soaked overnight)
1 large Breadfruit peeled
2 cups coconut milk
1 medium onion chopped
- Wash and peel breadfruit. Cut into 8 sections. Remove centre lengthways of each section and cut into half crosswise.
- Wash and scrape meat, cut into pieces and rinse in lime juice and water.
- Remove skins of onions, rinse and cut into small pieces. Remove seeds of chilli peppers and cut into wedges. Chop chives into small pieces.
- Put salted meat into cold water, bring to the boil and drain. Repeat 3 times to remove preserving saly. Put to cook until just tender and drain.
- Saute onions and garlic in hot oil until onions are pale yellow.
- Add chive, thyme, flavouring pepper, salted meat and salt to taste. Pour over 2 cups of coconut milk.
- Add wedges of breadfruit, sugar, green hot pepper and cook until breadfruit absorbs liquid.
- Add remaining coconut milk. Remove hot pepper. Stir to blend well and cook at a reduced heat. There should be no remaining liquid.
- Serve hot.
Try your hand at the national dish.
Grenada’s national flower is the Bougainvillea (Nyctaginaceae), a genus of woody climbers. Bougainvilleas are widely-grown and popular tropical vines whose main attractions are very colorful bracts or leaves. These bracts are mistaken by many as the flowers of the plant because of their prominence. The flowers are actually the trumpet-like, small, white and inconspicuous items surrounded by the bracts. Each cluster of three flowers has three to six bracts surrounding them. Best outdoors, the plants can be used as hedges, or can be in pots, hanging from ceiling rafters or in hanging baskets.
The original plants came from South America, in the regions around Brazil, Peru and Argentina. Today they grow in the tropical areas of the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Africa, the Mediterranean, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Australia, Hawaii and the southern United States. The French botanist, Philbert Commerson, discovered the plant and named it after his friend, Captain Louis A. Bougainvillea, an explorer, mathematician and lawyer from Canada.
Bougainvilleas are easy to grow and propagate, especially in areas with warm weather and plenty of sun. They come from the Nyetayinacce family of small trees, vines and shrubs. The vine itself is thorny and woody in most species, the most popular of which is the galabra or “paper flower,” so called because of its paper-like bracts. Different species have different colored bracts like red, orange, white, purple, yellow and pink, among a few others. They grow in soil where most other plants do, up to 15 to 25 feet high and 25 to 35 wide.