The flag of Grenada consists of two yellow triangles at the top and bottom and two green triangles at the hoist and fly. These are surrounded by a red border charged with six five-pointed yellow stars – three at the top centre and three at the bottom centre – along with an additional star on a red disc at the centre and a nutmeg at the hoist triangle. Adopted in 1974 to replace the temporary design used since the islands became an Associated State of the United Kingdom, it has been the flag of Grenada since the country gained independence that year. Designed by a local Grenadian, it utilizes the colours of the Pan-Africanist movement. The representation of a nutmeg is symbolic of the islands’ primary export, and was the one feature from the previous flag that was preserved.
Sovereignty over Grenada changed hands between the French and the British throughout the 18th century. This continued until 1783, when the Peace of Paris saw France permanently relinquish the island to the United Kingdom. It eventually became a crown colony within the latter’s colonial empire in 1877. The territory joined the West Indies Federation in 1958 and was a member state until 1962. On 3 March 1967, five years after the federation was dissolved, Grenada became an Associated State. This gave Grenada full control over domestic matters, while Britain retained responsibility for the territory’s foreign affairs and defence. A new flag for the territory was adopted, though this was only intended to be a temporary design. It consisted of a horizontal tricolour of blue, yellow, and green bands, charged with a nutmeg at the centre.
Negotiations for independence commenced after the Grenada United Labour Party won the most seats in the election in August 1967, having campaigned in favour of sovereignty. A search for a national flag began soon after. The new design was created by Anthony C. George, a native Grenadian from Soubise in Saint Andrew Parish. It eschewed the commonly-used arrangement of a horizontal or vertical tricolour, while maintaining the nutmeg symbol from the previous flag. The new flag was hoisted at midnight on 7 February 1974, the day Grenada became an independent country, and was adopted by the government the same day.
The colours and symbols of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. The green epitomises the islands’ vegetation and agriculture, while the yellow evokes the sun, as well as the warmth and wisdom of Grenadians. The red represents harmony, unity, courage, and vitality. Altogether, these three colours represent the Pan-Africanist movement. The green, yellow and red colour scheme was in turn inspired by the flag of Ethiopia, paying tribute to the oldest independent country in Africa and the only nation other than Liberia to maintain its sovereignty during the Scramble for Africa.
The yellow stars on the red border symbolise the country’s six administrative divisions, while the yellow star on the red disc at the centre signifies the capital, St. George’s. The symbol of a nutmeg at the hoist alludes to one of the primary agricultural exports of the islands. The country is the second-largest producer of nutmeg in the world, trailing only Indonesia. Consequently, Grenada has acquired the nicknames of “The Isle of Spice” and “Spice Island”.