About Saint Lucia
Capital: Castries Currency: East Caribbean dollar Population: 183,000 (2019 est.) Government: Parliamentary system
Independence: 22 February 1979 (from the UK) Official Language: English Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic
Saint Lucia is one in the chain of islands situated between North and South America, which make up the Caribbean. It is a subgroup of the Windward Islands and is located between 60 and 61 degrees West longitude, and 13 and 14 degrees North latitude. Its closest neighbors are the French island of Martinique 21 miles to the north, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 24 miles to the south, and Barbados 100 miles on its north-eastern side. It is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic ocean.
Saint Lucia was first inhabited by the Amerindians (Kalinago) for about 800 years. They made it very difficult for the early Europeans to settle on the island. The Amerindians named the island “Ianoula” which according to Dominican missionary Pere Raymond Breton means “There where the iguana is found”. The name eventually evolved to “Hewanorra” until Spanish explorers named it "Sancta Lucia" after Saint Lucy of Syracuse.
In 1650 the French purchased the island and settled there in 1651. The French were able to ward off attacks by the Caribs and the colony increased. In 1659, the English arrived and tried to take over the island with claims that they were entitled to it because of their earlier attempt at colonization. They were eventually defeated. However, this was the beginning of a fight between the French and the British over Saint Lucia which lasted for 150 years. During that period Saint Lucia changed hands fourteen times; seven times British and seven times French. As a result of these battles, the island became known as “The Helen of the West Indies” after the legend of Helen of Troy. Saint Lucia was finally surrendered to Britain by the French in 1814.
The National flag of Saint Lucia consists of three superimposed triangles of gold, black, and white over blue background.
The triangles mimic the shape of the Pitons (a National Landmark), and the colours
speak to the following:
Cerulean blue: Sea and sky.
It also symbolizes fidelity
Gold: Sunshine and prosperity
Black and White: Racial harmony. The larger black section over the white indicates the dominance of African influences over European influences.
This Coat of Arms is the official seal of the government of Saint Lucia and represents the country’s past, present, and future.
Tudor Rose: Represents England which was our mother country
Fleur d’lisle: Period of French control
Bamboo Cross on shield: the National plant
African stool: A tribute to our African ancestors
Torch: The beacon of light for our path
Amazona Versicolor: the National bird
National Motto (at the bottom of the shield):
"The Land, The People, The Light"
– The Land: A rich natural resource.
– The People: Different races of the country.
– The Light: The sunlight and wisdom of the people.