The national coat of arms of Dominica is a symbol of the country’s sovereignty and independence. It features a shield divided into four quarters, each representing a different aspect of Dominica’s history and culture. The shield is supported by two Sisserou parrots, which are endemic to the island and are a national symbol of Dominica. Above the shield is a banner with the national motto, “Après Bondie, C’est La Ter” (After God, the Earth).
The first quarter of the shield depicts a green background with a yellow cross. This represents the island’s lush vegetation and the Christian faith of its people. The second quarter shows a red background with a yellow lion holding a black cross. This symbolizes the African heritage of Dominica’s people and their struggle for freedom. The third quarter features a blue background with three wavy lines, representing the island’s rivers and the importance of water to its economy and way of life. The fourth quarter shows a white background with a yellow banana tree, which is a major crop in Dominica and a symbol of its agricultural heritage.
The colors used in the coat of arms are significant as well. Green represents the island’s lush vegetation, while yellow symbolizes the sun and the warmth of its people. Red represents the blood shed by Dominicans in their struggle for freedom, and black represents the African heritage of the island’s people. Blue represents the sea and the importance of water to the island’s economy, while white represents peace and purity.
The Sisserou parrots that support the shield are also significant. These birds are endemic to Dominica and are a symbol of the island’s unique biodiversity. They are also a symbol of the country’s sovereignty and independence, as they are found nowhere else in the world.
The national motto, “Après Bondie, C’est La Ter,” is a Creole phrase that means “After God, the Earth.” This reflects the importance of the land and the environment to the people of Dominica, as well as their faith in God.
The history of the national coat of arms dates back to 1961, when Dominica was still a British colony. At that time, the island had a colonial coat of arms that featured a shield with a lion and a boat. When Dominica gained independence in 1978, a new coat of arms was designed to reflect the country’s new status as a sovereign nation.
The current design was created by Alwin Bully, a Dominican artist and historian. Bully drew inspiration from the island’s history and culture, as well as its natural beauty and biodiversity. The coat of arms was officially adopted on July 21, 1978, the same day that Dominica became an independent nation.
In conclusion, the national coat of arms of Dominica is a powerful symbol of the country’s history, culture, and natural beauty. It reflects the importance of the land and the environment to the people of Dominica, as well as their faith in God and their struggle for freedom. The Sisserou parrots, the four quarters of the shield, and the colors used in the design all have significant meaning and reflect the unique character of this Caribbean nation.