According to Bahamas history, the current Bahamas flag was first used on the 10th of July, 1973. This was the date on which the Bahamas government became independent from Britain; although, the Bahamas is still part of Britain’s Commonwealth of Nations. Britain colonized the Bahamas in 1783.
Older designs of the Bahamas flag incorporated the British flag also known as the Union Jack.
The colours embodied in the design of the Bahamian flag symbolise the image and aspirations of the people of The Bahamas; the design reflects aspects of the natural environment (sun, sand, and sea) and the economic and social development. The flag is a black equilateral triangle against the mast, superimposed on a horizontal background made up of two colours on three equal stripes of aquamarine, gold and aquamarine.
The symbolism of the flag is as follows: Black, a strong colour, represents the vigour and force of a united people, the triangle pointing towards the body of the flag represents the enterprise and determination of The Bahamian people to develop and possess the rich resources of sun and sea symbolized by gold and aquamarine respectively.
There are rules on how to use the flag for certain events. For a funeral the National Flag should be draped over the coffin covering the top completely but not covering the bearers. The black triangle on the flag should be placed over the head of the deceased in the coffin. The flag will remain on the coffin throughout the whole service and removed right before lowered into the grave. Upon removal of the flag it should be folded with dignity and put away. The black triangle should never be displayed pointing upwards or from the viewer’s right. This would be a sign of distress
13 Things That You Need to Know About Flying the Bahamas Flag
When you are in the Bahamas, here are some of the established regulations and customs relating to the hoisting of the Bahamas flag that you need to keep in mind:
- The Bahamian flag is raised between the times when the sun rises and sets. It has to be properly lighted if it is flown during night time.
- No flag should be hoisted higher than the National Flag of the Bahamas.
- Anyone who is responsible for the carrying of the flag during a parade should ensure that the flag is in no account dipped. Letting the Bahamian flag touch the earth is tantamount to dishonoring it and everything that the flag represents. If there are two or more flags, the Bahamian flag should either be on the left or in the center; so the audience will have a good view of the flag.
- The flag of the Bahamas should never be flown half-mast without the command of the Bahamas Governor General through the Office of the Cabinet.
- In cases when two flags are needed to be flown, the flag of the Bahamas should be hoisted on the flag pole that is on the left and facing the audience. In addition, the flag of the Bahamas must be raised first and lowered last.
- The flag represents the nation’s independence. It must, therefore, be raised before any other flag and only lowered when all the other flags have been lowered.
- Except when the Bahamian flag is flying in the same or higher status, a commonwealth or foreign flag cannot be flying in the islands of the Bahamas. This does not apply to embassies of foreign countries, consulates, or high commissions of the Commonwealth.
- Tattered or discolored Bahamian flags should be taken away and disposed of with respect.
- Symbols, words, and other things put on the Bahamian flag without the authorization from the Office of the Cabinet are considered vandalism and punishable by the Bahamian law.
- During flag raising or flag retreat, everyone in close proximity should pause, stand still, and continue to do so until the flag ceremony is over.
- When at sea, the Bahamas Red Ensign must be flown instead of the Bahamas flag. The Bahamas Red Ensign is expected to be flown on ships in the waters of the Bahamas that are registered or licensed in the islands of the Bahamas but are not owned by the Bahamas government.
- Queen Elizabeth II’s personal flag is only used by Her Majesty to signify her presence. The following officials of the Bahamas also make their presence known by flying their personal flags: the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and Cabinet Ministers.
- The Royal Bahamas Police Force chose to retain their British style flag instead of including the post-independence Bahamas flag