A very important part of the global economy is Northern America region which includes such states as the United States and Canada. But let’s not forget that North America as a continent includes a lot more states whose flags and their features we will discuss today. In the previous article we have already made the segmentation of the South America and now we shall proceed to the North.
Ever since the discovery of North America the continent has experienced a number of different segmentations, however, starting the second half of the eighteenth century colonies began gaining independence and gradually the map of the region shifted to its current state. There are now twenty three free and independent states in North America.
Flags With a Cross
We will include in this group these North American flags that have different colors but are divided into sectors by means of a cross or simply have four equal sectors and that gives them a look of a cross separation.
Since independence flag of Dominica has changed three times and now has a fairly rich in symbolism structure. The cross is composed of three stripes and symbolizes the Holy Trinity (two-thirds of the population are Catholic) where white, gold and black colors represent three different races of the people. The parrot in the center of the flag is endemic to the island and the ten stars around it — ten districts of Dominica.
The colors of the flag of the Dominican Republic mean: blue — freedom and red — blood and independence. In the center of the white cross which symbolizes faith there is the national coat of arms of the Republic.
The blue color of the flag of Panama represents ocean and red symbolizes blood, as in the Dominican Republic. But there are other interpretations of the meaning of the colors of this flag. Thus, red color on the flag symbolizes the Liberal Party, blue — the Conservative and stars represent the civil purity — blue is power and red is the law.
In a rather interesting group we will put five countries: Guatemala, Barbados, Canada, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and Mexico. It is noteworthy that in the center of each of these tricolors a coat of arms or a distinctive symbol is present.
Flag of Guatemala comes from the flag of the Federal Republic of Central America which was located in the southern part of mainland North America and broke up in 1840 into several states. The current flag of Guatemala symbolizes purity and honesty (white color), legality and justice (blue). In the center of the flag is the coat of arms of Guatemala.
Blue stripes of the Barbados flag symbolize the sea and the yellow stripe in the center — the sand. The trident is compared with the symbol of Neptune but officially it represents the principles of democracy: “government of, for, and by the people”. The trident is also often treated as a separation from the UK (since it does not have a shaft).
The flag of Canada (“Maple Leaf”) was approved only in 1965. It has not official symbolism in itself and that distinguishes Canada in a pretty interesting way from other countries of the world as it is common to have a story behind each flag. The eleven peaks of the maple leaf have been selected so that the image of the leaf would not fall apart and become distorted by the strong wind. Also, sometimes the red stripes are being interpreted as oceans that are bordering Canada (white). Woods comprise 45 % of the country which is quite a lot considering the size of Canada.
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has the Latin letter “V” built of three rhombuses (islands of the state) and which symbolizes the Vincent island. The structure resembles the aforementioned Canadian flag for a good reason. The ratio when the central stripe takes twice more space than the other two is called the “Canadian pale”. The blue color of the flag symbolizes the sands of the Grenadine and green — the greenery of the islands.
Mexican flag displays hope (green), purity (white) and blood (green). In the center of the flag there is the national coat of arms — an eagle that devours a snake. As it is known the snake is often a symbol of evil and according to the legends of Aztec god Huitzilopochtli had predicted them to live in a place where an eagle will devour a snake.
In this group, like in the previous, the national coat of arms or an important symbol are displayed in the center of the flag. The colors of the flags of this group come from the same Federal Republic of Central America.
The flag of Honduras represents the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean — two blue stripes; five stars inspire hope for the reunion of the FRCA that was mentioned above and that included the territories of five modern states.
Nicaraguan flag has a triangle in the center of the flag which is a symbol of equality. Five volcanoes on it are the five nations of Central America, the cap — freedom and the rainbow is the world.
The triangle on the El Salvador flag also symbolizes equality and in general the symbolism coincides with the flag of Nicaragua. Only fourteen leafs of the flag represent the fourteen provinces of El Salvador.
Three blue stripes on the Cuban flag symbolize the three parts into which Cuba was divided by Spaniards. Two white stripes — the desire for independence, red triangle — blood shed in the struggle for the independence and the white star — freedom. The flag was created in 1848 and was named the “Lone Star”.
The black triangle on the flag of the Bahamas is the unity and the determination of Bahamians, the aquamarine stripes symbolize the sea and the golden stripe in the center — the land of the Bahamas.
According to the principle of the first group let’s distinguish two more North American flags into a separate group. The green and yellow colors of the Grenada flag symbolize the Sun’s rays and the nature respectively. Red reflects harmony and courage, seven stars — the seven districts of Grenada. The nutmeg on the flag is the basis of the economy of Grenada.
The black color of the Jamaican flag — the island nation, the green represents hope and nature of the island, the golden cross symbolizes sunlight or natural wealth.
The flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis uses traditional color symbolism: red — the liberation struggle and blood, green — the nature of the country, black — the African population of the state, yellow stripes — sunlight and two white stars — hope and freedom.
The black stripe on the flag of Trinidad and Tobago symbolizes the connection and unity of the islands population, two white stripes — the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, red color of the flag mean the viability of the people and the energy of the sun.
North American flags that could not be grouped will be highlighted in this group. Sun of the Antigua and Barbuda flag represents the dawn of a new era in the life of the state, black color — African population of the islands, red — the energy of the people, white and blue stripes — water and sand. It is not hard to see the specific V-shaped division of the canvas — this is due to a known symbol of victory.
The famous “Stars and Stripes” US flag has changed as much as 26 times since its inception. The modern fifty star version is also the longest-existing. The stars of the flag represent the states and thirteen stripes represent the thirteen original colonies of the country’s founders. The blue canton — the union of the states, the blue color — fairness, white — purity, red — endurance.
Saint Lucia modern flag was adopted only in 2002. The triangle in the center is the island and the blue color is the ocean. Also the blue color is a symbol of fidelity and triangles are the two mountains of Saint Lucia — Gros Piton and Petit Piton. Yellow also means the sun and the white edging of the black triangle — peace between the races.
In the white circle on the Belize flag the coat of arms of the country is displayed; the flag is also the only one in which people are depicted. The colors of the flag reflect the political parties of Belize and the red stripes were added during the time of gaining independence by the state. The fifty leaves symbolize the year (1950) when the People’s United Party came to power.
The horizontal bicolor of Haiti, which is similar to the flag of Liechtenstein, carriers a slightly different meaning. In the center of the flag there is the coat of arms of the state. The colors of the state refer to the colors of the French flag thus representing the union of mulattoes and blacks.
White and blue colors of the flag of Costa Rica symbolize the country’s independence, red — the human civilization and on the red stripe of the flag there is the national coat of arms.
Now it is time to look at the map of flags of North America. It can be noted that some countries of North America are island nations what certainly has affected their type of flag. Such countries as Honduras, Salvador and Nicaragua have taken for the basis the flag of the previous country and as always not only horizontal tricolors but also vertical tricolors have gained the traditional popularity. Also there are enough flags in the region with peculiar and unconventional design. In the colors of the North American countries the usual symbolism of red, green and blue can be noted but there is also a new way of using yellow and white. The presence on almost on every flag in North America of the coat of arms of the state or other symbols in addition to colors and shapes is also an interesting fact.