The flag of Guadeloupe - the French Tricolor
The national flag of Guadeloupe is the French tricolor flag.
The original use of the French tricolor three color flag dates back to 1789.
The colors were used to represent a good relationship between the King and the people of city of Paris. It was meant to be Paris re-conquered by its King.
The color white represents the royalty and the colours of blue and red stood for the arms of Paris.
The blue on the flag was Saint Martin’s colour, who gave half his blue coat to the poor as a symbol of the care and duty the rich had to help the less fortunate.
The white color is also said to be for the Virgin Mary.
Louis XIII consecrated the Kingdom of France to the Virgin Mary in the 17th century.
It is also the color of Joan of Arc, who managed to drive out the British in the 15th century.
And it soon became the color of the Royalty. During this time the King’s vessels, all carried a plain white flag.
Red is the color of Saint Denis who is the patron saint of Paris.
There is also a national flag of Guadeloupe other than the French tricolor.
However, this flag of Guadeloupe is used mainly as a tourist attraction.
It doesn’t fly on any government buildings but is used on private and commercial establishments.
The flag of Guadeloupe is a banner of the arms. It has a black field with yellow sugar cane and a blue stripe with fleurs-de-lis at the bottom.
While the flag of Guadeloupe is unofficial, it is tolerated and may be flown with the French flag.
There are some flags where the black field at the bottom of the flag is shown as red color. This is not the common local flag and is not the true colors of the flag of Guadeloupe.
Guadeloupe has been a French possession since 1635 hence the reason it is a country where you can learn French language.
The island of Saint Martin is shared with the Netherlands.
The southern portion is named Saint Maarten and is part of the Netherlands Antilles.
The northern portion is named Saint-Martin but with a different spelling and is part of Guadeloupe.
History of the Flag of Guadeloupe
The early history of Guadeloupe started several hundred years before Christ.
An Indian tribe called the Arawaks occupied the island.
They were a peaceful tribe and are said to have been great fishermen.
Cannibals arrived from neighboring islands and caused the extinction of Arawaks in the 9th century.
These cannibalistic tribes were still present when Christopher Columbus arrived in November 1493.
It was Columbus who chose the first name recorded for the island. He named the island Guadeloupe.
The Spanish showed little interest in the island.
Difficult living conditions and difficult farming conditions did not allow but a few settlers.
Once the African slave trade provided a workforce, the farming community developed plantations with acres of crops.
Although farming was not very profitable, plantations of sugar, coffee, and cocoa were started.
The island survived attacks by the Dutch and occupation by the British.
Farmers continued to work their farms throughout and new plants like cotton and spices were introduced making them more profitable.
In 1794, the Convention in Paris prohibited slavery.
Since a number of estate owners were loyal to the king, they tried and convicted a number of slave masters.
They were executed by these loyal estate owners by use of the French Guillotine.
Residents soon turned to coolie labor from China and India. Even this cheaper labor did not help them economically.
Many of the plantation owners left the island homes or sought loans to continue. Many estates were lost to foreign companies.
After World War II, the plantations turned toward crops of bananas, pineapples and rice but sugar and rum are still the main exports.
In March 1946, Guadeloupe became a French Overseas Department and was governed by a Prefect.
An independence movement began in the 1980’s.
The presidents of the regions Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guyana defined together in the "Déclaration de Basse-Terre", in December 1999.
In June 2000, the law of orientation for the French Oversea's departments had been voted in.
by Linda Chambers
Now you know all about the flag of Guadeloupe, find out more about the other facts and information on the island
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