Bermuda is part of the British possessions. Today they retain their own internal sovereignty, but are subject to the authority of the British monarchy. This country is called a British Overseas Territory.
The national flag of Bermuda has its own characteristics of appearance and emphasizes the special status of the country.
This is how the flag of Bermuda looks like:
History of the Bermuda flag
Beginning in 1707, the colony’s flag was the standard Union Jack, of national importance. It began to be used from the moment Bermuda became a colony of Great Britain.
The very first version of the Bermuda flag was originally adopted in 1875. At that time its background was still blue, which was supposed to symbolize the dominance of Great Britain as a maritime power. At that time the flag did not have the country’s coat of arms on the right, but a circular emblem, which depicted a pier with three sailing ships standing next to it. The use of such a symbol was characteristic of all British colonies.
This flag remained so until the early twentieth century. In 1910, Bermuda had a unique coat of arms, which was depicted on the flag instead of the previous colonial emblem. The first versions with the emblem changed to a coat of arms were considered unofficial.
The flag with a red background first appeared in the late 19th century, when it was hoisted by sailors from Great Britain living on the islands. Later this flag was used more and more often, and in 1915 the color of the cloth was finally changed to red Officially this step was approved by the Queen of Great Britain much later – in 1967.
In subsequent years, the flag underwent minor changes, which concerned primarily the tone of color on the background, the size of the elements and the detail of the depicted coat of arms. These changes were almost imperceptible from the outside. The final version was adopted in 1999 and is still in use today.
The flag of Bermuda has one significant difference from the flags of other British overseas territories – instead of the blue stern flag traditionally used for them, it has a red background of the red British merchant flag. The use of a red background is very rare. Other flags that had a similar distinction are Canada and South Africa during the colonial period.
The flag has the traditional 1:2 aspect ratio. Visually it can be divided into two equal parts. On the left side at the top is the national flag of Great Britain in blue-red-white color – the Union Jack. It is arranged in such a way that it occupies exactly one fourth of the entire canvas.
To the right in the center you can see the coat of arms of Bermuda. It depicts a red lion, sitting in full-face, facing the viewer and holding in its paws a shield with a blue background. The shield depicts the scene of a shipwreck – a shipwreck of the ship “Sea Luck”, which occurred in 1609 near the islands. The surviving passengers formed the very first colonial settlement.
On the coat of arms itself there is the phrase “Quo fata ferunt”, which in Latin means “Wherever fate takes you”. It is interesting that only the coat of arms is depicted on the country’s flag, while the motto is absent.
There are several basic variants of the flag – they all retain the integrity of the image elements, but differ in the sphere in which they are used:
- The official symbol of the overseas territory itself – it can be used by the country’s citizens and various organizations, both on land and over ships.
- The flag of the Government of Bermuda – like most of the traditional flags of the colonies, it has a blue background color, all other elements are arranged exactly the same as on the state version.
- The governor of the country has a separate flag. This version differs from the state version in having a wreath-like frame around the country’s coat of arms, and the coat of arms itself is centered on the Union Jack.
The colors used on the flag of Bermuda have a traditional meaning for most nations. Red symbolizes bravery and courage, white is considered a symbol of the desire for peace, and blue represents justice and determination of citizens.
The shade of red differs from that used on other English flags – in Bermuda it is Pantone color 186 (Dark Red), while in most cases shade 185 (Old Glory) is used.
Meaning of colors and flag symbol
The red cloth is a reference to the flag of the British merchant navy.
The Union Jack in the upper left corner is a symbol that Bermuda is under the authority of the British kingdom.
The red lion that appears on the coat of arms is the official emblem of the United Kingdom. The shield scene in the lion’s paws is a reference to the events of history that began the colonization of Bermuda.
General information about Bermuda