COAT OF ARMS
The Saint Kitts and Nevis Coat of Arms displays the motto “Country Above Self”. The center of the coat of arms is dominated by a shield, at the base of which is a ship.
A red chevron is highlighted by two poinciana flowers. At the top of the shield is the head of a Carib, supported by the fleur-de-lis and a rose. These symbols represent the early inhabitants of the islands, and the influences of the French and English. A helmet topped with a tower appears with a flaming torch upheld by the hands of an African, European, and a person of mixed descent. The torch signifies the struggle and quest for freedom by a people of diverse ethnic origins, but united in purpose. The shield is supported on either side by pelicans, displaying a sugar cane plant and the coconut palm tree – which are extensively cultivated throughout Saint Kitts and Nevis
The national flag of St. Kitts & Nevis features green for our fertile lands, yellow for our year-round sunshine, black for our African heritage, and red for our struggle from slavery through colonialism to independence. It also displays two white stars on a black diagonal bar, symbols of hope and liberty. A national competition was held in the early 1980s to choose a new flag. The winning design by student Edrice Lewis was one of 258 entries. It was first hoisted one minute after midnight on 19 September 1983, the day Saint Kitts and Nevis became an independent country.
The national flower is the poinciana or flamboyant, named after Monsieur de Poincy, the first French Governor of St. Kitts, who is said to have introduced it to the region. Its scientific name is Delonix Regia and it is said to have originated in Madagascar. The flamboyant is one of the most striking trees of the tropics, with its umbrella-shaped crown and its compound deciduous leaves, and red and yellow scalloped flowers followed by long, black seedpods. It blooms from May to August.
The national bird is the brown pelican, Pelecanus Occidentalis. In its youth, it is brown on the head, neck and upper parts of the body, and mostly white below. As it matures, the majority of the body becomes dark brown while the upper part of the head turns white. During the postnuptial molt the adult’s neck turns white. The neck and head are not extended during flight. Brown pelicans are sometimes solitary feeders but may also be found in small flocks as they feed on schools of fish near the surface of the sea. They can be found throughout the West Indies and in the sub-tropic regions of the Americas. They nest in colonies along the coast in low trees and in
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS NATIONAL WEAR
The Winning National Wear Design was selected on September 1st 2003. Outfits for both Men and Women were created by the design team of Dwayne Weekes, Grace Woodley, Vaughan Woodley and Joyette Woodley. The Original First Samples that resides at the St. Kitts Department of Culture were produces by Yvette Caines (Men’s Wear) and Michelle Archibald Phillip (Women’s Wear).
A straw hat trimmed with madras offered protection from the hot day’s sun. The short sleeved, V-neck jack shirt trimmed with madras is made from off-white cotton. The design is similar to traditional shirts worn by Africans. The beige cotton, ankle length pant is a reelection of the local fabrics that were commonly used during the colonial period.
It is customary for African women to wrap their heads for protection. The main dress is off-white cotton, with a corset top and ankle length, wide flare petticoat bottom. The beige cotton sleeves are short and puffed using the drawstring. A short lap skirt made from crocus is worn over the main dress to protect it from dirt “The Cane Soda Wrap”, which was used to carry soda while fertilizing sugar cane, is draped around the waist. The crocus drawstring bag was a safe way for women to secure their money.