The flag of the British Virgin Islands was adopted in November 1960, when the islands were made a separate British colony after having been previously administered as part of the British Leeward Islands. The flag features a blue ensign, defaced with the coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands and with the Union Jack of the UK in the canton.
The coat of arms, dating to the early 19th-century, features Saint Ursula holding a flaming gold oil lamp. She is also surrounded by eleven additional lamps, representing her 11,000 virgin followers after whom Christopher Columbus named the islands in 1493 since the multiplicity of islands reminding him of the numerous followers.
The motto present on the flag, “VIGILATE”, translates from Latin as “Be watchful”.