The Jamaican flag was adopted on August 6, 1962, the original Jamaican Independence Day. It was then that Jamaica gained its independence from the British-protected Federation of the West Indies.
The flag features a diagonal cross which divides the flag into four sections, two of which are green and two of which are black. The black is said to symbolize the strength and creativity of the people, which has allowed them to overcome great obstacles. The yellow stands for sunshine and Jamaica’s natural wealth. The green is for the lush and rich vegetation of the island. This current design was the result of a national competition where ideas were sent in from the public. These colors are all Pan-African colors and are used to pay tribute to Jamaica’s significant African heritage.
Jamaican flag etiquette requires that primary flag etiquette be used. It should always be the primary flag flown and in good condition. The Jamaican government provides the following etiquette:
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, burn it.
• Do not place any other flag above or to the right of the Jamaican flag, except at foreign embassies, consulates and missions.
• 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.”