Flag of Guyana

Flag of Guyana
Country Guyana
Population 813,834 (2023)
Area (Km²) 196,850
Сontinent South America
Emoji 🇬🇾
  hex rgb
#EF3340 239, 51, 64
#000000 0, 0, 0
#FFD100 255, 209, 0
#FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
#009739 0, 151, 57

The flag of Guyana is called the Golden Arrowhead and consists mainly of three colors: green, yellow and red, but also includes white and black as an outline for the yellow and red triangles. It is because of the two triangles that form the shape of an arrowhead on a solid green background that the flag got its name. The flag was adopted on May 26, 1966, when Guyana gained independence from the United Kingdom, and its design was not developed by a native of Guyana, but by a professional flag designer from the United States, Whitney Smith.

Meaning of the flag of Guyana

  • The green color reflects the ecological wealth and importance of nature to the country;
  • The gold color emphasizes Guyana's mineral wealth;
  • The black color symbolizes the resilience and strength of the Guyanese people;
  • The white outline reflects the importance of rivers to the country and reflects the importance of water in their economy and life;
  • The red color represents the zeal, passion and progressive nature of the people. 

History of the flag of Guyana

Around 1498, European settlers encountered the Guyanese lands, which had previously been inhabited by Arawaks and Caribs. The first colonists were Dutch, so their flags had Dutch symbols. The first colony was Essequibo, founded in 1616. Later, two more colonies appeared: Berbice in 1627 and Demerara in 1773. These colonies were governed by the Dutch West India Company, which had its own flag with red, white, and blue colors. Later, British emigrants from other Caribbean colonies were also allowed to enter Guyana, and Demerara became the main place of their settlement. In 1781, the Dutch colonies were captured by the British.

History of the flag of Guyana

For many years, Guyana experienced conflicts and changes of power on its territory. In 1804, British sovereignty over the colonies was increasing, leading to a desire to expand its influence over the Essequibo River, which belonged to Venezuela. In 1835, the border between British Guiana and Venezuela was established along the Orinoco River. Part of the territory of Venezuela was occupied by the British, and units of their army continue to claim this territory today. British colonial flags appeared in Guyana in 1875.

History of the flag of Guyana

The colony's flag, which was used until 1906, had a dark blue background with the Union Jack in the corner and the colonial coat of arms on the right. The coat of arms was rounded and depicted a ship with sails sailing on a sea of waves. In 1906, the first modification of the flag took place, as a result of which the brown mountains in the background were removed and the sky became blue and white. The coat of arms became oval with the golden-yellow inscription "Give and receive in return". In 1919, it was decided to remove the white circle around the coat of arms and place it directly on the blue background of the flag.

History of the flag of Guyana

After the political changes in 1955, a round circle with the coat of arms in the center appeared on the flag, reflecting the independence of the colony. The design of the ship changed, the number of sails decreased, and the color of the ship became golden brown. The yellow ribbon with the colony's motto was replaced with a new Guyana flag. The independence movement was gaining momentum, and the idea of a free Guyana was spreading. In 1960, American vexillologist Whitney Smith developed a new design for the Guyana flag. The new flag of Guyana won the competition, but it took several years to adopt the flag and gain independence. The Government of Guyana invited Whitney Smith to celebrate Independence Day in Georgetown. 

Guyana's flag was officially adopted in 1966 and has not changed since then. It consists of a green rectangle with a yellow triangle on the left side of the flag. On the yellow triangle is a red equilateral triangle with a black outline. The two triangles share a common base, but their vertices do not coincide. The flag of Guyana represents the national identity of the country and symbolizes the freedom and autonomy granted by the government.