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Trinidad and Tobago

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Last modified: 2023-09-09 by rob raeside
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[Flag of Trinidad and Tobago] image by Željko Heimer, 6 April 2003

Official Name: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Flag adopted: 1962

See also:

The Flag

The red is said to represent the vitality of the land and people, the warmth and energy of the sun, and courage and friendliness. The white is said to represent the sea, the purity of national aspirations, and the equality of all men, and the black represents strength, unity and purpose, and the natural resources. (from [smi75b]).
Red stands for 'people's generosity and sunlight', white for 'equality and sea' and black for 'tenacity and vocation for unity'. (from a 1994 translation of [taL82]).

From <>:
"The national flag was designed by the Independence Committee and selected to be used as the National Flag in 1962. Its colours are Red, White and Black. Red is the colour most expressive of our country, it represents the vitality of the land and its people, it is the warmth and energy of the sun, the courage and friendliness of the people. White is the sea by which these lands are bound; the cradle of our heritage; the purity of our aspirations and the equality of all men under the sun. The Black represents for us the dedication of the people joined together by one strong bond. It is the colour of strength, of unity, of purpose and of the wealth of the land. The colours chosen represent the elements Earth, Water and Fire which encompass all our past, present and future and inspire us as one united, vital, free and dedicated people."
Erki Kurikoff, 13 February 2002

Articles IV(4), V and VI all say that the National Flag should be raised in the morning a lowered at night (the actual times vary). But all Articles refer to official rather than private display.
Christopher Southworth, 4 April 2003

From 'The National Flag of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago', undated but must be from after 1976 (when Trinidad became a republic), and the specifications it contains are identical to those issued by 'The Ministry of Home Affairs' on 31 August 1962:
'Chapter I - The official description of the Flag reads as follows: "On a red field, a Bend Dexter Sable bordered Silver; that is to say, there is on the Red Field a diagonal from left to right in Black bordered with White.  The width of the Black and White bands joined side by side at the upper dexter corner of the Flag is one-fifth of the full length of the Flag, and the width of each White band is one-sixth of the width of the Black and White bands together.  The width of Black is therefore four-sixths of the total width of the White and Black". The Black and White diagonals must always point to the peak of the staff. "The dimensions of the National Flag shall be in the proportions of five to three (5:3).  For flags carried at sea the dimensions shall be two to one (2:1)"'
Christopher Southworth, 29 March 2003

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - National Flag on land (-SW/--- 3:5) - Red flag with a black falling diagonal fimbriated white. Both Album 2000 and [smi83] mark usage as (-SW/---); does it mean that there are some prohibitions regarding the use of this flag by private citizens on land?
Željko Heimer, 6 April 2003

The regulations say only this:
"ARTICLE III - SPECIAL DAYS FOR FLYING THE NATIONAL FLAG - The dates of special significance for this country on which the National Flag may be flown freely by all citizens are as follows: 
- 1. Independence Day - 31 August. 
- 2. Republic Day - 24 September.
- 3. Remembrance Day - 2nd Sunday in November.
- 4. Any other date that may be prescribed from time to time.
The above gives the dates upon which the National Flag may be flown freely by all citizens, but there seems to be nothing in the remaining 24 Articles to explain what happens on other days?  The mystery remains.
Christopher Southworth, 6 April 2003

Construction Sheet

image by Željko Heimer, 6 April 2003

The regulations require that the width of the white and black stripes together is 1/5 of the length, with white and black stripes being 1-4-1. It is nowhere specifically explained, but the diagonal stripe is set so that it makes edges only along the top and bottom and not along hoist and fly, that it touches with one point only.
Željko Heimer, 6 April 2003

National Flag at the London 2012 Olympics

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12]) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each NOC was sent an image of the flag, including the PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the NOC believed the flag to be.
For Trinidad and Tobago: PMS 186 red and black. The vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees clockwise.
Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012