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Our Colours, National Emblems and More—They’re All Our Identity!

by Lou-Ann Jordan Feb 5, 2024

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Today, we look at our national colours, flag, and coat of arms and it’s difficult to imagine a time without them. Yet, 50 years ago would have been an exciting time as our compatriots worked to establish emblems that would reflect our distinctive character.

Moreover, they had the challenge of marrying the past with a future they couldn’t see. These men and women had the formidable task of creating symbols that represented us then but which would also continue to be relevant today and in the future.  

As we celebrate our 50-year-long walk of independence, let us do so with dignity. Let us make our countrymen and women who worked so hard to create our national anthem, pledge, flag, coat of arms, folk songs and more, proud.

Grenada, sing lustily, speak boldly and fly your flag high because we are forever indebted to them for their creativity and patriotism. More importantly, we are beholden to them for shaping our identity as Grenadians.

So, what makes us Grenadians, well several things. However, here few that are most notable.

The Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the country for which it stands, with liberty, justice, and equality for all. I pledge also that I shall defend and uphold the honour, dignity, laws and institutions of my country.

Did you know? Creswell Julien wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr Julien was a resident of St. Andrews and a former principal of St Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School.

The National Anthem

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.

Did you know? The national anthem of Grenada, Hail Grenada, was written by Irva Baptiste and Louis Masanto did the musical arrangement. 

The Coat of Arms

The coat of arms has eight components.  Livery Coat or colour on a Shield, Charges or devices on the Shield, the Helm, the Mantle, the Wreath, the Crest, Supporters and the Motto. 

Heraldry of the World provides this brief description of the arms:

“The official coat of arms shows the Santa Maria, the flagship of Columbus’ fleet. The ship is reflective Columbus having sighted the island of Grenada bus. The lion is the English lion and symbolises strength. The crescent, out of which comes a white lily, the symbol of St. Mary, is a symbol for the catholic population and the original name of the island, Conception Island.

The seven flowers on the helmet depict the seven parishes on the island and are set between flowers of the bougainvillaea, the national flower. The supporters are local animals; on the left a Tattoo or Armadillo and on the right, the Grenada Dove, representative of the fauna on the islands.

The base consists of two mountains and the major lake (Grand Etang) on the island. The motto, “Ever conscious of God, we aspire, build and advance as one people”, is itself sufficiently eloquent on the subject of the nation’s founding ideals and principles.”

Did you know?  Before this seal, there were two other symbols. From 1889-1903 an image of a sugarcane press was used. In 1903, that symbol was replaced by one depicting a ship in front of the island. The current coat of arms was established following the country’s independence in 1974. 

Folk Song – Grenada the Island of Spice

Grenada the island of spice

Has everything in it that’s nice

And when you think of beauty spots

Grenada really has a lot

You can visit the Grand Anse

Have bathing picnics and romance

You can relax on the sands

And get a beautiful sun tan

CHORUS

We are from Grenada if you please

The Spice Island of the West Indies

We are happy peaceful and gay

People healthy in every way

And a warm sunshine every day

STANZA TWO

Our sea water is crystal clear

And so it is all through the year

Coconut palms and grape trees line the shore

Will make you feel at home once more

Fishing is a lovely sport

You can go in an open boat

Spent your vacation happily

Tell your tales to friends and family

STANZA THREE

Taxis can take you on an island tour

All round the island you may go

An important stop that you should make

Is a visit to Grand Etang lake

You will have a lot of fun

In the island in the sun

Everybody on this isle

Always greets you with a smile

STANZA FOUR

Our chief crops

Nutmeg and cocoa

All round the island these crops grow

Banana we must mention too

Grenada had some revenue

We have other local fruits

And they all taste very good

We not putting you on the shelf

Enjoy Grenada for yourself

Did you know? Like folk songs, patriotic songs are descriptive of a nation’s traditions and characteristics. Most cultures in the world have them. Calypsonian and national cricketer Theophilus “The Mighty Papiette” Redhead wrote Grenada, The Island of Spice in the 1960s. In the video clip, local songstress Adreeene Forsyth offers a brilliant rendition.

Happy Independence, Grenada!

Sources: Government of Grenada, Grenada Houston Association, Heraldy of the World, Eugene Gittens and An.