What Is It That Makes Us Grenadian? Let’s Learn this Independence Day
by Lou-Ann Jordan Feb 6, 2023
Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, February 7 marks the 49th year of our nation’s independence. Already we proudly fly our red, yellow and green on our streets, shops, offices, and even on our vehicles.
But, it is not only our national colours, spices and oil down that distinguish us as a nation. From our coat of arms to our unique sayings, many things identify us.
As we look forward to celebrating this Independence Day, let’s reflect on some of the national characteristics of our country.
We have highlighted some of the elements that we are sure make you proud to be from the beautiful tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
The National Anthem of Grenada
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.
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 hailed from the parish of St Andrew and was a former principal of St Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School.
You Know You Are From the Spice Isle When…
The term “cocoa tea” makes sense to you. Who says “hot chocolate”? We certainly don’t. No, the tea made from grating spiced cocoa balls, which leaves a nice oily film at the top, is called by all and sundry…” cocoa tea”.
Breadfruit is synonymous with ‘oil down’. This Independence Day get your coal pot out and begin preparing the mouth-watering combination of callaloo leaves, saffron, seasoning, chicken back, pigtail, salt beef and, any other type of meat you may choose, and of course breadfruit. Now let it all steam to perfection in coconut milk.
Paper is not the only material used for kite-making. Grab a big, dry cocoa leaf, a reel of thread, and an old bedsheet. It’s all you need to craft a kite that functions just as well as any store-bought version.
We hope we’ve been able to fan the flames of your patriotic spirit, as you appreciate our unique characteristics as people of the Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Happy Independence Day from your Yello Grenada team!
Sources: Government of Grenada and Grenada Houston Association