The national coat of arms of Saint Lucia is a symbol of the country’s sovereignty and independence. It features a shield divided into four quarters, each representing a different aspect of the island’s history and culture. The shield is supported by two Saint Lucian parrots, which are endemic to the island and are a symbol of the country’s natural beauty and biodiversity. Above the shield is a French ship, representing the island’s colonial past, and below it is a banner with the national motto, “The Land, The People, The Light.”
The first quarter of the shield features a blue background with a golden ship, representing Saint Lucia’s history as a major port for European ships during the colonial era. The second quarter features a white background with a black and white checkered pattern, representing the island’s British colonial heritage. The third quarter features a green background with a golden banana tree, representing the country’s agricultural industry and its status as a major exporter of bananas. The fourth quarter features a yellow background with a black and white bird, representing the Saint Lucian oriole, which is also endemic to the island.
The colors used in the coat of arms are significant as well. Blue represents the sea and the island’s maritime history, while white represents peace and harmony. Green represents the island’s lush vegetation and agricultural industry, and yellow represents the sun and the island’s tropical climate. Gold is used to represent the country’s wealth and prosperity, while black and white represent the racial diversity of the island’s population.
The national coat of arms of Saint Lucia was designed by a local artist named Dunstan St. Omer in 1967, shortly before the island gained independence from Britain. St. Omer was a prominent artist and cultural figure in Saint Lucia, and his design was chosen from among several submissions in a national competition. The coat of arms was officially adopted on February 22, 1979, the same day that Saint Lucia became an independent nation.
The Saint Lucian parrots that support the shield are a critically endangered species, and their inclusion in the coat of arms is a testament to the country’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage. The parrots are known for their vibrant colors and distinctive calls, and they are a popular attraction for tourists visiting the island. The French ship above the shield represents the island’s history as a French colony, which lasted from 1660 to 1814. During this time, the island was known as Sainte-Lucie and was an important center for the French West India Company.
The national motto, “The Land, The People, The Light,” reflects the values and aspirations of the Saint Lucian people. The land refers to the island’s natural beauty and resources, while the people represent the country’s diverse population and its commitment to democracy and social justice. The light represents the country’s hope for a bright and prosperous future, and its status as a beacon of hope and progress in the Caribbean region.
In conclusion, the national coat of arms of Saint Lucia is a powerful symbol of the country’s history, culture, and aspirations. Its design reflects the island’s natural beauty, its colonial heritage, and its status as a modern, independent nation. The inclusion of the Saint Lucian parrots and the national motto demonstrate the country’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage and promoting social justice and progress. Overall, the coat of arms is a source of pride and inspiration for the people of Saint Lucia, and a symbol of their enduring spirit and resilience.