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The flag of Jamaica was adopted on 6 August, 1962, the original Jamaican Independence Day, the country having gained independence from the British-protected Federation of the West Indies. The flag consists of a gold saltire, which divides the flag into four sections: two of them green (top and bottom) and two black (hoist and fly). It is the only current national flag in the world that does not feature any of the colours red, white, or blue.

Design and symbolism
The present design emerged from those sent in by the public in a national competition. It was originally designed with horizontal stripes, but this was considered too similar to the flag of Tanganyika (as it was in 1962, only the yellow stripes are thinner), and so the saltire was substituted.

An earlier interpretation of the colours was, "hardships there are but the land is green and the sun shineth" as stated in the government Ministry Paper 28 - National Flag dated 22 May 1962. Gold recalls the shining sun, black reflects hardships, and green represents the land. It was changed in 1996 to black representing the strength and creativity of the people which has allowed them to overcome the odds, gold for the wealth of the country and the golden sunshine, and green for the lush vegetation of the island. The change was made on the recommendation of The Committee to Examine National Symbols and National Observances appointed by the then Prime Minister the Hon P. J. Patterson and chaired by the Hon. Prof. Milton "Rex" Nettleford. The flag is blazoned: Per saltire vert and sable, a saltire Or.

Etiquette
Standard etiquette applies in Jamaica to use of the national flag, primarily ensuring it is always the primary flag flown and is in good condition. The National Flag Code (a set of rules that owners of a flag should follow) was instituted by the government.

Jamaica's state ensign is a Blue Ensign with the Jamaican national flag in the canton; it is normally only used by the Jamaican Government. Jamaica's naval ensign is a White Ensign with a Saint George's Cross and the Jamaican national flag in the canton, although due to the island's lack of a navy, it is normally only used by the Jamaican Coast Guard. It mimics the naval ensigns of other Commonwealth countries such as Bahamas, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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