Sons and Daughters of St. Lucia
Love the Land that gave us birth
Land of beaches, hills and valleys
Fairest isle of all the earth
Where-so-ever you may roam
Love, oh love, our island home
Gone the times when nations battled
For this “Helen of the West”
Gone the days when strife and discord
Dimmed her children’s toil and rest
Dawns at last a brighter day
Stretches out a glad new way
May the Good Lord Bless our island
Guard her sons from woe and harm
May our people live united,
Strong in soul, and strong in arm
Justice, Truth, and Charity
Our ideal, forever be!
The national anthem was first agreed to in 1967 upon attaining self government, and validated as the official anthem upon independence in 1979. The words were written by Charles Jesse, and the music by Leton Felix Thomas.
The Coat of Arms of Saint Lucia
The Coat of Arms of Saint Lucia with the motto “THE LAND, THE PEOPLE, THE LIGHT” was made by Mr. Sydney Bagshaw in 1967. It is a depiction of the island’s cultural tradition and history.
The coat of arms consists of a blue shield with a stool, two roses and two fleur de lis. The shield is held up by two Saint Lucian parrots. Below the shield is the national motto and above the shield there is a torch. The representations of the symbols are as follows:
Motto: “The land, the people, the light”
Tudor Rose represents England
Stool represents Africa
Fleur de lis represents France
Torch represents Beacon to light the path
Saint Lucia Parrot – Amazona versicolor represents the national bird
NATIONAL BIRD OF SAINT LUCIA
The Saint Lucia Parrot (Amazona Versicolor) can be seen only in Saint Lucia. It is mainly green in color, and a classic example has a cobalt blue forehead joining through turquoise to green on the cheeks and a scarlet chest. These are birds of the forest sunshade. The two sexes are hard to differentiate. They are difficult to notice among the thick plant life when they scramble about to look for fruits, nuts, seeds and berries from trees.
The National Clothing
The national dresses are the Wob Dwiyet and the Madras.
The Wob Dwiyrt is made up of the following:
A lengthy petticoat made of cotton or satin and adorned with rows of lace and ribbon.
The Dwiyet is seen as a lengthy outer dress with a trail and slender sleeves that extend to the wrists.
A Foulard is a scarf wrapped around the neck and shoulders with a triangular apex at the centre of the back and attached to the Dwiyet at the front with a brooch. This particular scarf is made of satin and is normally contrasting with that of the dress in terms of colour.
The Tete Casé is a folded head piece which is adorned to satisfy the feel of the dress.
Persons wearing the Wob Dwiyet decorate themselves with a considerable amount of jewellery including lengthy necklaces and big earrings. Its design is assumed to have come from Southern France, whereby women at the time wore a look alike outfit.
The National Flag
The national flag of Saint Lucia was agreed to on March 1, 1967, ahead of attaining self government. The flag was designed by Dunstan St. Omer. The flag is describe as the following;
The flag has a blue background with a white and black triangular figure in the fore ground, at the bottom of which a golden triangle takes up a middle position. The triangles overlay each other with the black on the white, and the gold on the black. The black emerges as a three-pointed star in the middle of the flag.
The blue colour symbolizes fidelity. It mirrors the tropical sky and also the bright green neighboring waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The gold symbolizes the reigning sunshine in the Caribbean and success. The triangles symbolize the mountains in St. Lucia. The well-known twin Pitons at Soufriere are represented, mounting out of the sea, towards the sky being a sign of the optimism and ambitions of the people. Note the black and white symbolize the cultural powers – the black represents the Black culture and the white, the White culture, representative of the two races living in unison and agreement.
National Flowers and flower festivals
The Rose and the Marguerite are the national flowers symbolizing the two flower societies of Saint Lucia. They surfaced as winners of the National Flower Competition in September 1985.
The flower festivals are the La ROSE and la MARGUERITE into which some members of the Saint Lucian community divide themselves. Both festivals are hierarchically planned with a king and queen as leader of each group. After the king and queen come princes and princesses, military and professional personnel, judges, policemen, soldiers, nurses etc…
Each group has a patron saint on whose banquet day the grand fête is held. For the ROSES it is the feast of St. Rose of Lima on the 30th of August, and for the MARGUERITES, it is St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on 17th October.
Each group holds a grand fête which is a detailed and multicolored event full of ceremony and spectacle, which is headed by several months of nightly singing rehearsals called “séances“. Instruments used include any blend of violin, banjo, quatro, guitar, shak-shak, baha, and drums.
Heading over the annual festivals are the “King” and “Queen” who are escorted by their royal entourage of Princes, Princesses, Soldiers, Policemen, Doctors, Nurses, the clerical hierarchy, and followers of the respective flowers.
The National Plant is the Bamboo
This is a type of flowering perennial evergreen plant in the grass family
The National Tree is the Calabash
The calabash tree produces large sphere-shaped fruits, up to 50 cm in width, the tough shells of which are valuable as bowls, cups, and other water containers when emptied out.