Kammie Holder’s Swimming Up Stream: Our flag

On the eve of Barbados 44th Independence I want to speak about our flag and what it should mean to you. What does it mean to you since its adoption as our symbol of independence on November 30, 1966?

Flags stir up emotions in us, that few other symbols can and some persons see it as a national insult to desecrate a nation`s flag.

The blue color in the flag of Barbados represents the sea, and gold symbolizes the golden sands of the island, while the broken trident centered represents the break from our colonial past.

Flag etiquette and flags have been a symbol of human achievement since ancient times. Flags have been used to lead armies to victory and to claim ownership of vast territories. For every Barbadian that sovereign piece of cloth with its blue,gold and black colors of Barbados  should be the embodiment of Pride and Industry. It`s more than a colorful  piece of cloth we call a flag but is a symbol of who we are, what we believe in and where we belong.


by Kammie Holder


Our flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Thus it’s an accepted fact that people respect the symbolism of the flag, whether it is your country’s flag or another country’s flag. How many of you unknowingly and knowingly disrespect the highest symbol of our sovereignty? Thus here are some tips on how to and not to treat our Flag.

Your country’s flag should never be flown above another national flag on the same staff as this would suggest superiority or conversely, inferiority of one flag, or nation over another. A country’s flag should never be allowed to be dragged along the ground. If a country’s flag becomes tattered or faded, it should be removed and replaced with a new flag. Due care and consideration must be taken to ensure that the flag is always flown the correct way up. If a country’s flag is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning in private with all due care and respect.

Our country’s flag should be hoisted first and lowered last. The United Nations uses alphabetical order when presenting a national flag. The United Nations flag etiquette ensures that no one country’s flag has precedence over another country’s flag.  Flag etiquette is very strict and it is essential that flag protocols and rules are followed correctly.  Let all of us from today give our National Anthem and Flag the same respect as you would give when a visiting other countries.

Kammie Holder

Next week I will tell you about bad english potatoes and 1 litre juices


Filed under Barbados

5 responses to “Kammie Holder’s Swimming Up Stream: Our flag

  1. bajandave

    Thanks for the reminder. You should also let people know that you should not wear the flag as a bandanna or use it as a “rag” to wave during a fete. As we near Independence, you should also urge people to know the lyrics to the National Anthem and give it the necessary reverence when it is played during an event.

  2. Beefcake

    The flag is not to be outside after 6 p.m., however look at how many government offices fly the flag 24 hours a day.

  3. Fatpork

    I respect this article but I wish to point out to Mr. Holder that for all the respect he has of our flag he has inadvertently failed to distinguish our ULTRAMARINE from amongst the other shades of blue that exist. The author has clearly said what a flag represents but in such an emotionless manner it seems more like directions for caring for the flag than the passion it should inspire – what my flag should MEAN to me. It follows that someone who cares about Barbados and has meaning ascribed to the flag will care for it as Mr. Holder has described above.

  4. Dawn Rollins

    Kammie, fancy you writing this article!
    I did enjoy reading it & in doing so, it brought back memories of days as a Cadet.
    I remember a soldier was punished after a rehearsal for the Independence Day parade. He allowed the Barbados flag he was carrying to touch the ground.
    I remember being told, “there are 2 things a Soldier never let touch the ground. It is the national flag & his weapon”.
    It also brought back memories of a post I saw on FB a few weeks ago. A certain establishment in Warrens flew the National Flag & their company flag ” up sided down” for a long period, until it was brought to their attention & someone hurriedly corrected this.
    It reminded me how patriotic Americans are & how respectful they are when they flag is flown & when their National Anthem is played. I admire the way how they stand erect, hand over chest, head held high & singing / mouthing the anthem.
    I reminded me of how most Barbadians disrespect out flag & anthem. How during the playing of the anthem, most people continue to talk, fidget, walk & go about their own business as if the anthem has nothing to do with them.
    I remember visiting Oistins & at the end of the entertainment, the anthem was played. I remember stopping to acknowledge the playing of the anthem, but was quite annoyed to see most people going about like no body’s business.
    I regret to say, that some Barbadians are not as patriotic as they should be & their respect for country & flag is not as it should be.
    Kammie, I remember when I first moved to the UK, I visited the Barbados High Commission to look up Herbie Yearwood & when I caught sight of the Barbados flag, the excitement & pride I felt to see my National Flag flying.
    Barbadians are losing it & something must be done to restore that respect & patriotism.
    Ta Kammie for reminding me.
    P.S I have a Barbados flag flying in my living room in the UK complements of Joan Squires!

  5. ac

    Nice article on our civic duty.A copy should be posted in everyclassroom in Barbados. Kammie you make me proud ..