The Jamaican Flag came into use on August 6, 1962, Jamaica’s Independence Day.
The Flag has a diagonal cross or saltire with four triangles in juxtaposition. The diagonal cross is GOLD and one-sixth of the length of the fly of the flag; the top and bottom triangles are in GREEN; and the hoist and fly triangles are in BLACK. The exact shade of green used in the flag is Emerald T8 17, British Admiralty Bunting Pattern.
The Flag follows the “Admiralty Pattern” and the proportion is 2 x 1.
“The sun shineth, the land is green and the people are strong and creative” is the symbolism of the colours of the flag. Black depicts the strength and creativity of the people; Gold, the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight; and green, hope and agricultural resources.
- The Flag must be regarded as a sacred emblem of the Nation to be paid due reverence and devotion by all its citizens.
- The Flag should never be allowed to touch the ground or floor.
- It should never be flown or used for purely decorative purposes on anything that is for temporary use and likely to be discarded, except on state occasions.
- When the Flag becomes worn and must be replaced it should be burnt and not used for any other purpose than what it was designed for.
- Except at Foreign Embassies, Consulates and Missions no foreign flag may be flown publicly, unless the Flag of Jamaica is also flown.
- The Jamaican Flag should never be smaller than any other flag flown at the same time.
- No other flag should be placed above or to the right of the Jamaican Flag. (Note: International usage forbids the display of the Flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.)
- The Flag when carried in procession with another flag or flags should be on the marching right or if there is a line of flags, in front of the centre of that line.
- The Flag should not be draped over vehicles of any sort except on Military, Police and State occasions.
- The Flag should be flown in or near every Polling Station on election day.
The Flag should be flown at half-mast as a sign of official mourning when so declared by the Prime Minister’s office for a period determined by this office.
- The Flag, when flown at half-mast, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered slowly to the half-mast position. It should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered.
- During the Ceremony of hoisting or lowering the Flag or when the Flag is passing in a parade or in a review, all persons present should face the Flag and stand at attention. Persons in uniform should salute. Men should remove their hats.
The Jamaican Flag should be flown on all Government and Municipal buildings and offices, on or near the main administrative building, but it is recommended that if possible each day it should be lowered at sundown and raised at 8:00 a.m.
- The Flag should be flown on all Government-aided Schools when the school is in session.
- At the beginning and end of each term there should be a special Flag Raising and Lowering Ceremony so organised that performance in the Ceremony should be regarded as a special privilege.
- The National Pledge for schools should be recited on such occasions.
- It would be appropriate for any school to have a special Flag Raising Ceremony on the Anniversary of Independence.
- All Youth Camps, Clubs and Institutions for young people should fit similar ceremonies into their schedules.
- The Flag may be flown on private buildings on all national and state occasions and should always be flown on any private building on the occasion of official visits by the Governor-General, and the Prime Minister.
- The Flag should be flown at the official residence of the Governor-General, his private Flag being also displayed when he is in residence.
- The Flag should be flown at the official residence of the Prime Minister when he is in residence.
- The Flag should be flown on the Governor-General’s and Prime Ministers cars.
- All Government-owned ships, defense craft and light houses should fly the flag.
- All Government-owned air-craft, rail and motor vehicles should bear a representation of the Flag.
- All merchant ships of Jamaica registry should fly the Flag.
Thanks to the National Library of Jamaica