Flag of the Bahamas

The national flag of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas consists of a black triangle situated at the hoist with three horizontal bands: aquamarine, gold and aquamarine. Adopted in 1973 to replace the British Blue Ensign defaced with the emblem of the Crown Colony of the Bahama Islands, it has been the flag of the The Bahamas since the country gained independence that year. The design of the present flag incorporated the elements of various submissions made in a national contest for a new flag prior to independence.

Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Flag of The Bahamas.svg
UseNational flag
Proportion1:2
Adopted10 July 1973
DesignA horizontal triband of aquamarine (top and bottom) and gold with the black chevron aligned to the hoist-side.
Designed byDr. Hervis Bain[1][2]
Civil Ensign of the Bahamas.svg
Variant flag of Commonwealth of The Bahamas
UseCivil ensign
Proportion1:2
DesignA white cross on a red field, the national flag in the canton
Government Ensign of the Bahamas.svg
Variant flag of Commonwealth of The Bahamas
UseState ensign
Proportion1:2
DesignA blue cross on a white field, the national flag in the canton
Naval Ensign of the Bahamas.svg
Variant flag of Commonwealth of The Bahamas
UseNaval ensign
Proportion1:2
DesignA red cross on a white field, the national flag in the canton

HistoryEdit

The Bahamas became a crown colony of the United Kingdom within its colonial empire in 1717.[3] Under colonial rule, the Bahama Islands used the British Blue Ensign and defaced it with the emblem of the territory. This was inspired by the ousting of the pirates, and consisted of a scene depicting a British ship chasing two pirate ships out at the high seas encircled by the motto "Expulsis piratis restituta commercia" ("Pirates expelled, commerce restored"). The emblem was designed in around 1850, but did not receive official approval until 1964.[4]

The Bahama Islands were granted internal autonomy in 1964.[3] After the 1972 elections, the territory started negotiations on independence.[3][5] A search for a national flag began soon after, with a contest being held to determine the new design. Instead of choosing a single winning design, it was decided that the new flag was to be an amalgamation of the elements from various submissions.[4] It was first hoisted at midnight on 10 July 1973, the day The Bahamas became an independent country.[4][6] The new country also changed its name from the Bahama Islands to The Bahamas upon independence.[7]

DesignEdit

The colours of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. The gold alludes the shining sun – as well as other key land-based natural resources[4] – while the aquamarine epitomises the water surrounding the country. The black symbolises the "strength",[4][8] "vigour, and force" of the Bahamian people, while the directed triangle evokes their "enterprising and determined" nature to cultivate the abundant natural resources on the land and in the sea.[9]

ColoursEdit

The official colours of the flag are:[10]

Colour Pantone RGB Hexadecimal CMYK
Blue 3145 0, 119, 139[11] #00778B[11] 30, 0, 24, 100[11]
Yellow 123 255, 199, 44[12] #FFC72C[12] 0, 16, 89, 0[12]
Black None 0, 0, 0 #000000 0, 0, 0, 100

Legal issuesEdit

 
Bahamian civil ensign on the Seabourn Pride, 2013

The Bahamian flag is often used as a flag of convenience by foreign-owned merchant vessels. Under the Law on Merchant Shipping Act 1976 (amended in 1982), any domestic or foreign vessel – regardless of country of origin or place of registration – can be registered in The Bahamas "without difficulty".[13] Furthermore, the ship's crew is not restricted by nationality and "ordinary crew members" have "virtually no requirements for qualification".[13] This lack of regulation has led to ships flying flags of convenience – like The Bahamas' flag – having a reputation of possessing a "poor safety record".[14] This came to light in November 2002, when a Greek oil tanker flying the flag of the Bahamas split into two and sank in the Atlantic Ocean off the north-western Spanish coast. This produced an oil slick of 60,000 tons of petroleum.[15]

Historical flagsEdit

Flag Duration Use Description
  1869–1904 Flag of the Crown Colony of the Bahama Islands A British Blue Ensign defaced with the emblem of the crown colony. This consisted of a British ship chasing two pirate ships out at the high seas and the motto "Expulsis piratis restituta commercia" (Pirates expelled, commerce restored).
  1904–1923 Flag of the Crown Colony of the Bahama Islands The crown on the crest was changed to a domed Tudor crown.
  1923–1953 Flag of the Crown Colony of the Bahama Islands The crown on the crest was changed to an Edwardian-style king's crown.
  1953–1964 Flag of the Crown Colony of the Bahama Islands A British Blue Ensign defaced with the emblem of the crown colony featuring a queen's crown for the new monarch.
  1953–1964 Flag of the Crown Colony of the Bahama Islands A British Red Ensign defaced with the emblem of the crown colony featuring a queen's crown for the new monarch.
  1964–1973 Flag of the Crown Colony of the Bahama Islands A British Blue Ensign defaced with the emblem of the crown colony featuring a queen's crown.
  1964–1973 Flag of the Crown Colony of the Bahama Islands A British Red Ensign defaced with the emblem of the crown colony featuring a queen's crown.

Maritime flagsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Dr Bain Joins The Fabulous Forty". Tribune 242. 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
  2. ^ "Our national flag, a mystery of true national pride". Freeport News. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
  3. ^ a b c "Bahamas profile". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e Smith, Whitney (October 6, 2013). "Flag of the Bahamas". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved July 2, 2014. (subscription required)
  5. ^ "History of The Bahamas". Lonely Planet. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  6. ^ McJunkins, James (July 10, 1973). "New Flag Hoisted Over Bahamas". The Palm Beach Post. p. A1. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  7. ^ Albury, E. Paul (October 7, 2013). "The Bahamas – Independence". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved July 2, 2014. (subscription required)
  8. ^ https://www.tripsavvy.com/are-bermuda-and-the-bahamas-in-the-caribbean-1487679[unreliable source?]
  9. ^ "Bahamas, The". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  10. ^ Bahamas at Flags of the World
  11. ^ a b c "PANTONE® 3145 C". Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  12. ^ a b c "PANTONE® 123 C". Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  13. ^ a b Egiyan, G.S. (March 1990). "'Flag of convenience' or 'open registration' of ships". Marine Policy. 14 (2): 106–111. doi:10.1016/0308-597x(90)90095-9. (registration required)
  14. ^ Kelly, Nicki (May 11, 1983). "Bahamas becomes newest ship registration center". The Christian Science Monitor. Boston. p. 10. Retrieved July 2, 2014. (subscription required)
  15. ^ Ordás, M. C.; Albaigés, J.; Bayona, J. M.; Ordás, A.; Figueras, A. (2007). "Assessment of In Vivo Effects of the Prestige Fuel Oil Spill on the Mediterranean Mussel Immune System". Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 52 (2): 200–206. doi:10.1007/s00244-006-0058-7. PMID 17180482. (registration required)

External linksEdit