Barbados Independence Day

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Barbados Independence Day is celebrated on November 30th! Barbados remained a British Colony 300 years after the English settlement in Holetown in 1627. Independence from Britain was realised on November 30, 1966. On this day, the first independence ceremony, the raising of the national flag and the playing of the nation anthem were performed for the first time.

The first Prime Minister of Barbados was the Rt. Hon. Errol Barrow. He is often referred to as the Father of Barbados’ Independence.

Parliament

Today Barbados’s Independence is celebrated with a month of events and activities in November. Celebrations start with a Lighting Ceremony in the capital city, Bridgetown which include decorative lighting of Parliament Buildings, Independence Square, the Independence Arch and businesses throughout the capital Bridgetown. Roundabouts on the highways are also illuminated, creating a spectacular views at night.

Parliament

The Independence celebration ends with a parade ceremony at the Garrison Savannah, site of the original Independence ceremony, on Independence Day, November 30. You can see from Cub Scouts to Soldiers and Girl Guides to Landship, all turned out in their uniforms.

Police Band

Did you know the national flag of Barbados was designed by Grantley W. Prescod?

The flag is comprised of three equal vertical panels – the centre panel of gold and the outer panels of ultramarine. A broken trident in black is located in the centre of the flag.

Blue represents the sea and sky of Barbados, while gold represents the sand of the island’s beaches. The symbol at the centre of the flag represents the Trident of the mythical sea god, Neptune. And, the shaft of the trident is broken symbolising Barbados’ break from Britain.

Did you know the national pledge of Barbados was written by Mr. Lester Vaughan?

Barbados flag

The national anthem was written by Irving Burgie and composed by C. Van Roland Edwards.

The coat of arms of Barbados was presented to Barbados by Her Majesty the Queen in 1966 to the President of the Senate. It was designed by Mr. Neville Connell, with artistic assistance by Mrs. Hilda Ince.

The Golden Shield carries two Pride of Barbados flowers, the national flower, and the Bearded Fig Tree, after which Barbados is named. The shield is supported by a dolphin, which is symbolic of the fishing industry, and by a pelican, after a small island called Pelican Island which existed off of Barbados.

Above the shield is a helmet and mantling and above that is a hand of a Barbadian holding two crossed pieces of sugarcane, representing the Barbados sugar industry. The cross formed by the cane is a reference to the cross on which St. Andrew was crucified.

Barbados’ Independence Day is celebrated on November 30th, Saint Andrews Day.

Barbados Coat of Arms

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