| Jamaica National Symbols
With a diagonal gold cross, the background of the flag is black
(the left and right triangles) and green (the top and bottom triangles).
Each color is symbolic: the black stands for hardship, the green
for both hope and the fertile land, and the gold for wealth and
sunshine. The flag’s symbolism is “Hardships there are, but the
Land is green and the Sun shineth.”
Coat of Arms:
The island’s coat of arms is an Arawak couple beside a shield displaying
pineapples and the crest of a Jamaican crocodile.
Motto: The motto of Jamaica is “Out of Many,
One People,” a reference to the many cultures that came together
to produce the nation.
National Tree: The blue mahoe is used to make
small pieces of furniture.
The ackee (Blighia sapinda), an import, has reached such prominence
as to yield what is, essentially, a national dish: saltfish and
ackee. First brought from Ghana, it is a reminder that Captain Bligh
(of Mutiny on the Bounty fame) brought many tropical fruits
to England for the first time. This small, innocent-looking red
fruit grows on a large evergreen tree; the fruit is poisonous until
National Flower: The lignum vitae. The flowers are produced by
a tree that contains some of the world’s hardest wood, used in early
times to build ships. Today the blonde wood, the “wood of life,”
is used to make beautiful carvings.
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