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Antigua and Barbuda

Last modified: 2024-06-22 by rob raeside
Keywords: antigua | barbuda | caribbean | america | antigua and barbuda | agave | west indies | leeward islands |
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(~2:3) image by Željko Heimer, 12 January 2004

Official Name: Antigua and Barbuda
Flag adopted: 27 February 1967
Designer: Mr. Reginald Samuel
Coat of arms adopted: 16 February 1967

See also:

The Flag

Antigua and Barbuda's flag was designed by Mr. Reginald Samuel, an art teacher in an Antiguan high school, when Antigua gained "statehood" status (Self-governing) in 1967.
L. Jacobs II , 21 September 1998 and Ivan Sache , 31 January 2000

Acording to L'Album 2000 [pay00] the construction details are stripes in ratio 18:10:18, length 69~ [so total ratio 2:3~]. Is this based on some official data?
[smi80] have as civil ensign for Antigua and Barbuda to be the British red ensign, but here the national flag is indicated to be (among other uses) civil ensign too. Has that changed since 1980?
Željko Heimer, 5 January 2001

I visited Antigua in spring 1994 and I saw there a lot of national flags, both on land and at sea.
Ivan Sache, 6 January 2001

The flag is the national flag and ensign (i.e. CSW/CSW). The flag was adopted, apparently only for the use on land in 1967, but the flag must have been introduced into maritime use since 1981 when Antigua and Barbuda aquired full independence. Until 1981 the undefaced red ensign was the civil ensign in Antigua and Barbuda. Was there any defaced blue ensign?
History of the status of AG from rulers site

  • 1632: British colony (Antigua).
  • 1871-1 July 1956: part of the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands (Antigua, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Saint Christopher-Nevis- Anguilla, and, until 1940, Dominica).
  • 3 January 1958-31 May 1962: part of the Federation of the West Indies.
  • 27 Febuary 1967: associated state
  • 1 November 1981: independence as Antigua and Barbuda

Željko Heimer, 12 January 2001

Example of gold on flags as opposed to yellow was given recently by the embassy of Antigua and Barbuda in London, who sent a delivery of flags back to their manufacturer recently on the grounds that they (the manufacturers) had used yellow where the law stipulates a 'golden' sun.
Christopher Southworth, 28 March 2003

In corr. 3 (2003) of Album des Pavillons [pay03], I have presented AG Coast Guard Ensign, and consequently AG flag as CSW/C--.
Armand Noel du Payrat, 24 June 2003

An article "courtesy The Museum of Antigua & Barbuda and The Dockyard Museum" related the adoption process of the flag as follows:

In 1966, a national flag design competition was held for the occasion of attaining Independence in Association with Great Britain on February 27th, 1967. There were over 600 entries, with Mr. Reginald Samuel winning the first prize of $500 for the best design. He had entered the very last minute before the deadline, and made the design in only about half an hour. He rushed to buy an envelope to get the entry to the Administration building in time. Later he heard he had won! 

Mr. Samuel is an Antiguan artist, sculptor, painter and art teacher. The winning design, together with the chosen anthem, coat-of-arms and slogan, was displayed on a board outside the Administration Building next to the Post Office, so the people of Antigua and Barbuda could see their future devices. That original board may now been seen as an exhibit at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. The 7 point golden sun of the Antigua & Barbuda flag represents the dawn of a new era. The colour red, the life blood of slave forefathers and the dynamism of the people. Blue represents hope, black, the soil and African heritage and gold, blue & white Antigua's and Barbuda's tourist attractions sun, sea and sand. The "V" formed by the red borders represent: "Victory at last." In 1994, it was decided that seven full points of the sun should be displayed for many as twenty had sometimes been shown!  It has been suggested that these seven points should represent the six parishes plus our sister island, Barbuda, though the designer himself did not have this in mind.
A wire by the agency CMC, reprinted in the Jamaica Observer, 2 November 2006, reports that the very same Reginald Samuel, now Sir Reginald Samuel, was among the 12 people recognised on 1 November by the Antigua and Barbuda government for their contribution to sports. Reginald Samuel, former Director of Sport, was bestowed with knighthoods, the second highest award.
Ivan Sache, 2 November 2006

Meaning of Symbols and Colors

The sun represents the dawning of a new era; red - the energy of the people; blue - hope; black, the African ancestry of the people. The combination of yellow, blue and white represent the sun, sand and sea.
James Dignan, 22 November 1995

Details of the Flag

image by Željko Heimer, 12 January 2004

The construction sheet is made according to the data given in l'Album 2000 [pay00]. Overall ratio 2:3~ is approximated as (18+10+18):69~. The sun symbol is half of a 16-pointed star with outer diameter 30 and inner 15 units. The colours provided are approxiamtive. The red is apparently the same as the red of the british ensigns (Pantone 186c). Blue is somehwat lighter then the standard British ensign blue (Pantone 300c) and yellow is aproximated with Pantone 116c.
Željko Heimer, 12 January 2001

Construction number 30 and 15 are my approximation, other figures from Album 2000. Chris' has different number but without official source: (39+22+39):150 with sun diameters 68 and 40.
Željko Heimer, 15 January 2004

Colours of the flag

Specifications for the image above are based on Album 2000 [pay00]. No official specification of the color shades and design is known for the Antigua and Barbuda flag. A government website shows a small flag with description of symbolism, but with brighter red color.

According to the Flag Manual - Beijing 2008, the PMS colors are PMS 032 (red) and PMS 109
(yellow) and PMS 300 (blue), and Black. (The red is a lighter shade.)

The Album des Pavillons 2000 [pay00] suggests the following colors:
Pantone Yellow 116c, CMYK 0-10-93-0,
Pantone Blue 300c, CMYK 100-45-0-0
Pantone: Red 186c, CMYK 0-90-75-5
(but illustrates flags with a lighter shade of red)

Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12] gives same values as Flag Manual - Beijing 2008
(and illustrates flag with a lighter shade of red, as well.)

The Album des Pavillons 2023 specifies the colors of the flags in three color systems.
Blue Pantone 280c, CMYK 100-89-27-8, RGB 0-38-127 (for Governor-General & Commander in Chief
Blue Pantone 300c, CMYK 90-62-0-0, RGB 0-94-184
Red Pantone 186c, CMYK 14-100-79-4, RGB 200-16-46
Yellow Pantone 116c, CMYK 0-21-93-0, RGB 255-204-0

Design specification is same as in 2000 edition, but ratio is defined as 2:3.

Vexilla Mundi gives PMS 186C (red), PMS Black, PMS 300C (blue), PMS 116C (yellow) and PMS

Wikipedia illustrates the flag with darker shade of red and refers to the French Navy's  flag book Album des pavillons (2000), but also provides an image of flag (with bright red flag).
Zoltan Horvath, 8 April 2024

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 Antigua and Barbuda: PMS 032 red, 300 blue, 109 yellow and black. The vertical version is simply the flag turned through 90 degrees clockwise.
Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012

Storm Warning Signals

According to this WMO page, Antigua and Barbuda use signals 40a and 41a which are red pierced black and red pierced black (double),
40a is defined as Tropical disturbance reported; likely to affect the islandh whereas 41a means Hurricane warning. Danger expected.
Jan Mertens, 1 November 2007