The Caribbean was the last region of the Americas to be settled. Its first residents arrived in 8000 BCE from South America. Europe made permanent contact with the Caribbean in 1492 and changed world history forever. Several European nations vied for power and wealth in the Caribbean over the ensuing centuries, establishing colonies which thrived on African labor. Slavery was abolished in the 1800s and the following century was characterized by decolonization. This led to many Caribbean islands gaining independence. As a result, the national flags of the Caribbean are fairly new. Nearly all were created in the twentieth century.
Many people would struggle to name the 13 Caribbean sovereign nations, let alone place them on a map or identify their flags. These are the 13 Caribbean flags and the meaning behind each design.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- Dominican Republic
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
The national flag of this twin island republic was selected in 1962 to commemorate its independence. The flag is rectangular in shape and has a red background with a white-edged black diagonal band across it. The black represents the earth and dedication of its people, while the white represents the water resources, purity, and equality of all men under the sun. Red symbolizes fire — the vitality of the land, the energy of the sun, and the courage, warmth and friendliness of the Trinidadian people. This flag is affectionately called the Sun-Sea-Sand Banner by Trinidadians.