You should feel a sense of achievement now that you have completed the lesson. Job well done! Here is a review of what you have learned...
A country is called a nation when its people share a common history and culture. Nations use symbols to identify themselves at home and abroad. Jamaica has nationals that identify it.
The Jamaican National Flag: The Jamaican National Flag was first raised on August 6, 1962. It was designed by some members of the governed. The flag has a diagonal cross with four (4) triangles. The diagonal cross is in gold, the top and bottom triangles are in green and the two (2) side triangles are in black. “The sun shines, the land is green, and the people are strong and creative” is the meaning of the colours on the flag. Gold stands for the natural wealth and the beauty of sunlight; Green is for hope and the country’s agricultural resources; Black stands for strength and creativity of the people.
Rules about using the National Flag: There are rules about how people should use the flag. Some of these rules are that the flag:
- should never touch the ground
- should not be used for decoration
- must never be smaller than any other flag that is being flown at the same time
- must be the highest flag in a group of flags except at a foreign embassy.
The Jamaican Coat of Arms shows a male and female member of the Taino tribe standing on either side of a shield which bears a red cross with five golden pineapples. On the crest is a Jamaican crocodile which sits on top of the British Royal Helmet. Except for the helmet, everything on the coat of arm is indigenous to Jamaica.
THE NATIONAL BIRD: The National Bird, the doctor bird or swallowtail humming bird, lives only in Jamaica and is one of the most outstanding of the 320 species of humming birds. The feathers of these birds are the most beautiful in the entire bird population. There are folksongs and stories about this bird. Do you know any of these folksongs or stories? Your parents or grandparents should be able to help you with this.
THE NATIONAL FRUIT is the ackee. It is not indigenous to Jamaica but has been a part of our history. It was originally originated from West Africa, probably brought here on a slave ship, and now grows all over the country. It has become one of the crops that is exported to countries where many Jamaicans now live. Jamaicans were the first people to use it as food. But now the plant has been introduced into most of the other Caribbean islands where it is known by different names.
THE NATIONAL FLOWER is the lignum vitae flower and it is indigenous to Jamaica. People outside of Jamaica did not know about this flower until plants were taken from Jamaica to England in 1793 by Captain William Bligh. One of the earliest local growers of the tree was Dr Thomas Clarke who introduced it to the eastern parishes in 1778.
THE NATIONAL TREE: The National Tree is the Blue Mahoe. The tree got its name because of the colour of some parts of the wood. The wood is used to make furniture, bowls, utensils, and coasters which are popular with visitors to the country.