National Flag was selected from a series of designs created by the
Independence Committee in 1962. The colours of red, white and black
were chosen to reflect the philosophy of the new Nation, the
principles for which it stood, its hopes and aspirations and the
Nation's supreme determination to preserve the harmony and unity of
spirit which underlie the cultural diversity of our people. These
colours also represent the elements of Earth, Water and Fire which
are embodied in our past, present and future.
Black represents for us the dedication of the people joined together
by one strong bond. It is the colour of strength, of unity of
purpose, and of the wealth of the land.
represents the Fire element. It is the colour most expressive of our
country; the vitality of the land and its peoples; the warmth and
energy of the sun, the courage and friendliness of the people.
is the sea by which these lands are bound; the cradle of our
heritage; the purity of aspirations and the equiality of all men
under the sun.
Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago was designed in 1962 by a
committee of distinguished citizens established to select and design
the country's national emblems. Committee members included noted
artist Carlyle Chang and Carnival Designer George Bailey. The Coat
of Arms incorporates important historical and indigenous elements of
Trinidad and Tobago in a design approved by the College of Arms.
elements of this emblem are: the Shield, the Helm of special design,
the Mantle which covers the Helm, the Wreath to hold the Mantle in
place, the Crest, the Supporters and the Motto.
the top is the Crest- a ships wheel in gold in front of a fruited
coconut palm. This palm had always been the central figure on the
Great Seals of British Colonial Tobago. Beneath the wheel is the
wreath which holds the mantle in place.
Helm is a gold helmet facing front which represents the Queen. The
devices on the Shield are the humming birds. The three gold ships
represent the Trinity; the discovery of the islands, the three ships
of Columbus; the sea that brought our people together; the commerce
and wealth of the country. The National Flag's colours can also be
found repeated on the Shield.
Supporters are a Scarlet Ibis for Trinidad on the left and a
Cocorico for Tobago on the right. Both are shown in their natural
colours. The Three Peaks may have been chosen to commemorate
Columbu's decision to name Trinidad after the Blessed Trinity or the
same three peaks called the "Three Sisters" which sailor
on Columbu's ship saw rising from the south of the island.
on the motto scroll are the words: "Together we aspire;
together we achieve".
National Flower, the Chaconia, also called "Wild
Poinsettia", is a flaming red forest flower. Belonging to the
family Rubiaceae, this flower owes its botanical name Warszewiczia
Coccinea to the Polish- Lithuanian plant collector Joseph Warszewicz.
The title "Chaconia" was given in honour of the last and
most progressive, Spanish Governor of Trinidad, Don Jose Maria
flower, known by its long sprays of magnificent vermilion usually
blooms around the time of the nation's anniversary of Independence.
As an indigenous flower it can be said that is has been witness to
our entire history. In this way it represents the cycles of life and
the continuity of the nation. The colour of this bloom also echoes
the symbolism found in the red of the Flag and on the Shield of the
Coat of Arms.
National Birds of Trinidad and Tobago are the Scarlet Ibis and the
Cocorico. Both are protected by law.
largest habitat of the Scarlet Ibis (or Flament) Eudocimus ruber
is the Caroni Swamp, Central Trinidad. Brown, when young, the colour
of the Scarlet Ibis changes at maturity to a brilliant red.
Cocorico (Red-tailed Guan or Rufus-tailed Chachalaca) Ortalis
r. ruficauda is native to Tobago and Venezuela. Not found in
Trinidad, it is the only game bird on the sister isle and is
commonly referred to as Tobago Pheasant. The mature bird is
approximately the size of a chicken, is brown in colour and has a
Steelpan is a musical instrument indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago
whose early evolution dates back to the 1930's and 40's.
Traditionally made from a steel drum or container, it is a definite
percussion instrument in the idophone class.
playing surface is divided into convex sections by channel, grooves
and/or bores and each convex section is a note tuned to a definite
pitch. The range and assortment of today instruments makes it
possible to execute the simplest of melodies to the most complex
arrangements found in orchestration.