National Flag of Dominica
- The Flag of the Commonwealth of Dominica consists of a circular emblem of red bearing a Sisserou Parrot (Amazona imperials) standing on a twig encircled by ten lime green stars. This is superimposed on three vertical and three horizontal stripes of yellow, black and white forming a triple coloured cross against a general back-ground of forest green.
- The central emblem presents the National Bird of Dominica, the Sisserou parrot, also a symbol of flight toward greater heights and fulfilment of aspiration. The Parrot also comes from the Dominica Coat of arms, thus symbolizing the official Seal of the country.
- The ten lime green stars – the traditional symbol of hope – represent the ten parishes of the country, each with equal status, thus the equality of our people. The red central emblem symbolizes Dominica’s commitment to social justice.
- The yellow, black and white stripes form a triple coloured cross representing the Trinity of God. The cross itself demonstrates belief in God since the Commonwealth of Dominica is founded upon the principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God.
- The yellow stripe represents the sunshine of our land, our main agricultural produce: Citrus and Bananas; and is also a symbol of the Carib and Arawak people, the first inhabitants of the Island.
- The white stripe represents the clarity of our rivers and waterfalls and the purity of aspiration of our people.
- The black stripe represents the rich black soil of our island on which or agriculture is based as well as our African heritage.
- The general background of dark green symbolizes our rich verdant forest and the general lushness of the island.
The National Flag of Dominica was designed by Mr. Alwin Bully.
The National Pledge was written by Peter Israel.
On occasions when the National Pledge is recited the following form should be used:
“Before God and all mankind,
I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the Commonwealth of Dominica
and to the Sovereign Republic for which it stands;
my love, my loyalty and skills,
in the service of Dominica and my fellow citizens.
I promise to work diligently and to help build
a prosperous and peaceful Nation.”
Coat of Arms
Coat of ArmsQuarterly Or and Azure a cross fillet counterchanged in the first quarter on a Rocky Mount Sable a Coconut Tree fructed proper in the second a Dominica Crapaud also proper in the third on Water Barry wavy in base a Carib canoe with sail set all likewise proper in the fourth quarter on a Rocky Mount also sable a Banana Tree fructed also proper and for the crest. On a Wreath Argent and Azure a Rocky Mount Sable thereon a Lion Passant guardant Or and for the Supporters. On either side of Sisserou Parrot (Amazona imperials) proper beaked and membered or together with this motto APRES BONDIE C’EST LA TER.
The Coat of Arms of Dominica bears the inscription ‘ Apres Bondie C’est La Ter’, (after God the Earth), which emphasizes the importance of the soil in the island with its economy based on agriculture.
The design depicts a shield divided into four quarters of a cross, referring to the Island’s name, because of its discovery on a Sunday. In first quarter on the top left, you see the black volcanic soil of Dominica supporting a coconut tree, and in the fourth quarter on bottom right a fully developed banana stem bearing a mature bunch of fruits is shown. Our Crapaud, the second quarter, while in the third quarter, a canoe under sail glides on the Caribbean Sea. A wreath of silver and blue bears the crest, a golden lion standing upon a black rocky mount with the Sisserou parrot (Amazona imperialis) as supporters.
The Dominica National Anthem, popularly referred to as “The Isle of Beauty” was retained on achieving Independence; during the period proceeding Associated Statehood with Britian, it was referred to as the National Song. The words were composed by the late Reverend W.O.M. Pond and put to music by L.M. Christian.
Isle of Beauty
Isle of beauty, isle of splendour,
Isle to all so sweet and fair,
All must surely gaze in wonder,
At thy gifts so rich and rare,
Rivers, valleys, hills and mountains,
All these gifts we do extol,
Healthy lands so like all fountains,
Giving cheer that warms the soul.
Dominica God hath blest thee,
With a clime benign and bright,
Pastures green and flow’rs of beauty,
Filling all with pure delight,
And a people strong and healthy,
Full of Godly reverent fear,
May we ever seek to praise thee,
For these gifts so rich and rare.
Come ye forward, sons and daughters,
Of this Gem beyond compare,
Strive for honour sons and daughters,
Do the right be firm be fair,
Toil with hearts and hands and voices,
We must prosper! Sound the call,
In which everyone rejoices,
“All for Each and Each for All”.
Amazona imperalis (Sisserou Parrot)The Sisserou parrot (Amazona imperalis), “The Pride of Dominica”, is generally recognized as the National Bird of Dominica. The parrot figures prominently on the Coat of Arms, the National Flag, The Public Seal, The Mace of the House of Assembly and Dominica’s Honours for Meritorious Service to the Country.
The Sisserou Parrot is protected and it is probably among the oldest species of Amazon parrot in the world, and is found only in Dominica. Unfortunately, this bird is most vulnerable, particularly when young, but through evolution, it has adapted to various changes in its habitat. Even more unfortunately, it has not been able to adapt to the bad influences of man.
The following is a full description of the Sisserou Parrot.
- The Sisserou Parrot (Amazona imperialis) is a shy but very attractive native of the tropical forest of the Commonwealth of Dominica. Sisserou parrots have lived on the island for several hundred thousand years and can live to be very old (over 70 years), in captivity, some have outlived their captors. In the wild, however, their life span may be much shorter.
- The adult is 18 to 20 inches (457-508 mm) long, 8 inches (203 mm) wide and weighs 2 pounds (0.9 kg). When the wings are spread out, the distance from tip to tip is 30 inches (762 mm).
- The Sisserou Parrot, the larger of the two parrots of the Commonwealth of Dominica, is a heavy bodied body. It is well proportioned, beautifully streamlined with coloured feathers and a curved beak characteristic of all parrots.
- The upper parts and back are mostly green with greenish blue on the head and eyes are red. A dark violet band, appearing black, is visible across the hind neck; the tail and under parts are of a purplish violet hue. There is a red streak on the wing tips.
- This Sisserou is seldom seen in populated areas. It is only found mainly in rain forests, chiefly at high elevations.
- Parrots pair off themselves for life and are extremely faithful to each other. A parrot will only seek another mate when its mate dies, and even then, if it is old, it may simply grieve to death rather than find a new mate.
- The Sisserou is most vulnerable when young and it faces the greatest danger while still in chick stage. It is then exposed to further danger from three species of birds (Grive, GriGri and Malfini), snakes and the opossum.