The Jamaica National Flag was first raised on Independence Day, August 6, 1962. It signifies the birth of our nation. The Flag brings to mind memories of past achievements and gives inspiration towards further success. It is flown on many triumphant occasions, showing the pride that Jamaicans have in their country and in the flag itself.
A bipartisan committee of the Jamaica House of Representatives designed the Jamaican Flag which consists of a diagonal cross with four triangles placed side by side. The diagonal cross is gold; the top and bottom triangles are green; and the hoist and fly (side) triangles are black.
“The sun shineth, the land is green and the people are strong and creative” is the symbolism of the colours of the flag. Black depicts the strength and creativity of the people; Gold, the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight; and green, hope and agricultural resources.
Code for use of the Jamaican Flag
• The Jamaican flag should never be allowed to touch the ground or floor. It should not be flown or used only for decorative purposes on anything that is for temporary use and is likely to be discarded, except on state occasions.
• The flag should never be smaller than any other flag flown at the same time.
• When the flag becomes worn and must be replaced, it should be burnt privately and not used for any other purpose than that, for which it was designated.
• Do not place any other flag above or to the right of the Jamaican flag, except at foreign embassies, consulates and missions. (As seen from, say, a building looking outwards, i.e., the left when facing the building.)
• Do not raise any foreign flag publicly, unless the Jamaican flag is also flown, except at foreign embassies, consulates and missions.
• The flag shouldn’t be draped over vehicles, except on military, police and state occasions.
Use of National Emblems and Symbols in Designs
The National Flag of Jamaica is a national symbol of Jamaica and written permission should be sought from The Chancery in The Office of the Prime Minister before it is used. The gallery shows some examples of designs using the colours black, gold and green as they appear in the flag. In this gallery are other examples of how the flag and flag colours have been used.
Section 12(1) of the Jamaica Trademarks Act of 1999, states that a trademark containing the Coat of Arms of Jamaica, national flag and other national symbols are not registrable as trademarks. The Act also states that the flags, armorial bearings or other state emblems of other Convention countries are not registrable unless that country authorises such use.
Where persons submit trademark applications to the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) in which national emblems/symbols are used, the application is not accepted unless there is authorisation for use granted by the Office of the Prime Minister in the case of Jamaica. Where there is no authorisation, the applicant would be directed to request permission from the OPM, to use the emblem. The OPM in its discretion may object or grant approval to the representation being used as part of the artwork in the proposed trademark.
Factors which could be considered for trhe granting of permission of use could be whether the intended use is for educational or non-educational use, whether the product will be commercially free or freely distributed. Consideration can also be given on whether a fee will be charged, depending on the proposed use. The Chancery is appointed to give permission for the use of the seven national symbols. They are:
The Jamaican Flag ; The Coat of Arms; The National Tree; The National Flower; The National Fruit; The National Anthem; The National Pledge.
The Correct Colours of the Jamaican Flag
For the printing of the flags by the Print Shop, the following are used, based on the PANTONE COLOUR FORMULA:
- Gold = Pantone 109U
o 16 parts PANTONE Yellow 98.5
o ¼ part PANTONE Warm Red 1.5
- Green = Pantone 355U
o 13 parts PANTONE Green 80.0
o 3 parts PANTONE Yellow 18.5
o ¼ part PANTONE Black 1.5
In the Codes for National Symbols publication (page 3) the colours are defined as:
- GREEN = Emerald T8 17