Flag of British Virgin Islands

Flag of British Virgin Islands
Country British Virgin Islands
Population 31,305 (2022)
Area (Km²) 151
Сontinent North America
Emoji 🇻🇬
  hex rgb
#EF3340 239, 51, 64
#FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
#00205B 0, 32, 91
#4C8D2B 76, 141, 43
#000000 0, 0, 0
#FFD100 255, 209, 0

The flag of the British Virgin Islands was adopted on November 15, 1960, and has a standard design for all British-controlled territories: the Union Jack (the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) in the canton (upper left corner of the flag) on a blue background and the country's coat of arms on the right side of the flag.

Meaning of the flag of the British Virgin Islands

The main element on the flag that distinguishes the island from other British overseas territories is the coat of arms.

The coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands
The coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands consists of:

  • A woman in a white dress is St. Ursula. Christopher Columbus, when he first visited the island, gave it the name “Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Vírgenes”, i.e. “Saint Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins”. This name was later shortened to Las Vírgenes (“The Virgins”);
  • The eleven oil lamps have two interpretations: the first is in honor of Ursula's 11 virginal companions, and the second states that St. Ursula had 11 thousand followers who were martyred in Cologne in the 4th-5th century;
  • The motto “Vigilate” translates as “Be vigilant” or “Be on guard!”.

A brief historical note about the flag of the British Virgin Islands

In 1493, Christopher Columbus discovered the Virgin Islands during his voyage to the West Indies. The Spanish claimed the territory in 1555, but did not establish any settlements. Later, the British captured the islands and gained control over them. In 1773, the Virgin Islanders gained self-government with a judiciary and a partially elected legislature. The coat of arms of the Virgin Islands appeared in the early 19th century, and the Union Jack became the official national flag. In 1950, self-government was finally restored. After that, the Virgin Islands became a colony of the Crown and received its own coat of arms. 

Some interesting facts about the British Virgin Islands:

  • The Virgin Islands are located in the Caribbean Sea and belong to the Leeward Islands group. They can be divided into two territories - the British Virgin Islands and the United States Virgin Islands;
  • The capital of the British Virgin Islands is Road Town, located on the island of Tortola, with a population of about 12,000 people. It is located in the southern part of the island near the horseshoe-shaped harbor of Road Harbor;
  • The British Virgin Islands consist of about 60 islands with a total area of approximately 150 square kilometers. The population is 28,000 people, and the GDP per capita here is 43,400 US dollars;
  • The climate on the islands is tropical, with mild trade winds;
  • Tourism and financial services are the main sources of income, with tourism accounting for about 45% of national income. In addition, licensing of offshore companies generates considerable revenue. In 2000, more than 45% of the world's offshore companies were established in the British Virgin Islands. In April 2016, when the Panama Papers were leaked, the British Virgin Islands were the most common tax haven used by Mossack Fonseca clients