The Barbados Coat Of Arms

Along with our other national symbols including the flag & flower is our Coat of Arms. Under Royal Warrant, the grant of arms was presented by Her Majesty the Queen to the President of The Barbados Senate on February 14th, 1966 the year Barbados gained Independence from England on her official visit to the island.


Description of The Coat Of Arms

coat of arms barbados 2The Coat Of Arms predominately showcases a gold shield with two pride of Barbados flowers (which is the national flower of Barbados) placed in the top left and right hand corners. In the centre of the shield is a Bearded Fig Tree (Ficus Citrifolia - after which the island was named). On the left side the sheild is supported by a dolphin or mahi-mahi (dexter) which is symbolic of the local fishing industry and on the right side by a Pelican (sinister) after a small island off our West Coast called Pelican Island but is now incorporated into the Barbados Port. Above the shield is a helmet and mantling on a wreath with a arm and hand of a Barbadian above it holding two pieces of Sugar Cane that are crossed representing the ever important Sugar Industry of the past. The cross formed above the helmet  by the sugar cane is a reference to the popular St. Andrews Cross. Saint Andrew patron Saint of mariners, fishermen, singers and performers. St. Andrews day is also the day of Barbados' independence - 30th November, 1966. The Coat Of Arms carries the motto "Pride and Industry."


Designer of Barbados Coat Of Arms

Coat of Arms Designer, Neville Connell, Barbados Pocket GuideThe barbados Coat of Arms was designed by Mr. Neville C. Connell who was director of the Barbados Museum for  almost 24 years. He was a prolific writer and contributed a great number of articles for the Museum Journals, local newspapers as well as publications overseas.He was educated at Harrison College, Barbados and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar at Grey's Inn. He served in the Royal Artillery on the outbreak of war. After his discharge he worked in an Antique Dealer's business and was also Assistant Secretary of the Institute Practitioners in Advertising.


The Design of Barbados Coat of Arms was the result of extensive research conducted by Mr. Connell who was a student of Heraldy. He was assisted in this work by Mrs. Hilda Ince (now deceased), an excellent artist. The developmental sketches of the Coat of Arms remain in the possession of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society.


Mr. Connell died on January 19th, 1973 at the age of 66.


Extract from the Royal Warrant

Know ye therefore that We of Our Pricely Grace and Special Favour have granted and assigned and by these Presents do grant and assign the following Armorial Ensigns for Our Island of Barbados that is to say:- For Arms: Or a Bearded Fig Tree eradicated in Chief two Red Pride of Barbados Flowers proper. And for the Crest; On a Wreath Or and Gules A dexter Cubit Arm of a Barbadian erect proper the hand of grasping two Sugar Canes in saltire proper. And for the supporters: On the dexter side a Dolphin and on the sinister side a Pelican proper, together with the Motto "Pride and Industry", as the same are in the painting hereunto annexed more plainly depicted the whole to be borne and used for our Island of Barbados - on Seals or Otherwise according to the Laws of Arms.


Other symbols used before the Coat Of Arms

Before the grant of Arms by the Queen the only other device representing a Coat of Arms would have been the Seal Of Colony. The Seal of colony is depicted by the sitting Queen or King ridding the waves on a shell chariot being drawn by two sea horses. When there was a new King or Queen the picture would have changed to represent the sitting crown. In all cases the king is depicted sitting and the Queen standing on the water chariot. Today this symbol is mostly recognized by stamp collectors with the same depiction appearing on many early stamps of Barbados.


Barbados Coat of Arms Stamp Showing King in Sitting Position, Barbados Pocket Guide


Early Barbados Stamp showing
the King in the sitting position.

Barbados Coat of Arms Stamp Showing Queen in Sitting Position, Barbados Pocket Guide


Early Barbados stamp showing
the Queen in a standing position.


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