Turks & Caicos Islander Flag

After periods of both Spanish rule (going back 1512) and then French rule (briefly in 1783), the Treaty of Paris (1783) finally confirmed the territory as a British colony. Later, in 1799, both the Turks and the Caicos island groups were annexed by Britain as part of the Bahamas. Then from 1873 until 1959, the islands became a dependency of Jamaica. And although in 1959 the islands became a separate colony, they continued to be ruled by the Governor of Jamaica until 1962, when Jamaica itself gained independence from Britain. At this point, the Administrator of the Turks and Caicos Islands then either reported directly to London (from 1962 to 1965) or to the Governor of the Bahamas (from 1965 to 1973). Finally in 1973, once The Bahamas too gained independence from Britain, the position of Administrator was rebranded to the position of Governor.

The current flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands was first adopted in November 1968 and slightly modified in 1999. And being a British Overseas Territory, the islands’ flag features a blue ensign, defaced with the territory’s coat of arms, and featuring the Union Jack of the UK in the canton. The coat of arms itself takes the shape of a yellow shield containing a conch shell, a Caribbean spiny lobster, and a melocactus intortus plant (which, being visually similar to a traditional Turkish fez, suggests the first half of the islands’ name).

 

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