Friday, January 23, 2015


See Bahamas, but without the money-laundering.

What I like best about Barbados is its flag. So many countries just pick colours, usually three, which say nothing, and are so similar to the flags of other countries that they become lost in the rainbow of flags around the UN table. Can you tell Belgium from Germany? Can you distinguish the red, white and blue of France from that of French Guiana, or Luxembourg, or Mayotte, or New Caledonia, or the Netherlands, or Paraguay, or Reunion, or the Wallis and Futuna Islands, or Yugoslavia? Belgium is horizontal where Germany is vertical. Paraguay has a crest in the middle, and Yugoslavia has closed, but the others are identical. But not Barbados. Barbados stands alone, unique, inimitable, the blue, I presume, for the sea that surrounds it, the yellow for the sun that turns its face the whole year round to shine upon it like a priestly blessing, and the trident...well, there are theories about the trident, which of course is the symbol of Neptune, the god of the sea in the Roman world, or Poseidon previously, in the Greek, but there are those who will tell you, and it may be fanciful but it is a very charming fancy, that the three prongs represent Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, the triad of French Enlightenment, or perhaps the American equivalent, being government of and by and for the people, though I cannot avoid pointing out that the trident on the Barbados flag is sadly broken at the shaft. Or maybe that is intended poetically as well.

Most Barbadians, or Bajans as they prefer, are descended from African slaves who were brought to work the sugar cane plantations. As far as contributions to world culture are concerned, Barbados claims the pop singer Rihanna as a native of the island, which may add a mark for, or a mark against, depending on how you view pop music.

Marks For: 2

Marks Against: 2

Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

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