Graphic Design » Understanding the colour theory behind the Jamaican flag’s colours

Understanding the colour theory behind the Jamaican flag’s colours

I love colours, colour theory and Jamaica, so in honour of National Heroes Day, I wanted to take a look at our flag’s colours and explain the meaning behind each one.

The Jamaican flag is definitely in the top 5 most recognisable flags in the world following closely behind international powerhouses like the USA, Japan, China and England. We have a saying here in Jamaica that goes “wi likkle, but we tallawah” which translates to “we are small, but our impact can be felt all around the world”. Our small island has definitely made a lasting impact on the world through its athletics, music, food, dance and other aspects of our culture.

The Jamaican flag is definitely in the top 5 most recognisable flags in the world following closely behind international powerhouses like the USA, Japan, China and England.

Jamaican Flag Colours

A common misconception many outsiders have is that the Rastafarian colours of red, yellow and green are Jamaican flag’s colours, but that is incorrect. The correct colours are black, green and gold, which can be seen below.

Jamaican flag colour theory: black
The Jamaican flag is not the same as the Ethiopian flag during Selassie’s reign. Source: Wikipedia.org

Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a look at the colours on the Jamaican flag and understand their meanings.

Jamaican flag colour theory: black
Black represents our skin colour and the strength of the people

Black

Black is the colour of our skin; it represents the strength of the Jamaican people who overcame the struggles of slavery and fought for their freedom. The colour also represents our hardworking nature and the ability to strive for excellence regardless of the challenges we face.

Jamaican flag colour theory: green
Photo by Yves Alarie on Unsplash

Green

Green represents the greenery of the island including trees, forests, the Cockpit Country, and the shrubbery found on our island. Additionally, green represents how close we are to nature as many Jamaicans engage in farming and animal rearing.

Jamaican flag colour theory: gold
Gold represents sunshine and the wealth of our nation

Gold

Yellow or gold depending on who you ask represents the sunshine that bathes our island. The gold also represents the monetary and cultural wealth of our nation.

Happy National Heroes Day Jamaica!

See also: 10 killer colour combinations inspired by Jamaican businesses.

Further reading: The story of the Jamaican national flag

Further reading: Caribbean histories revealed

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