St. Helena’s flag has been in use since 4th October 1984, it was commissioned by Governor Massingham in 1983, as one of the initiatives to mark the 150th Anniversary of St. Helena becoming a Crown Colony. It was granted by Royal Warrant, published in the St. Helena Government Gazette on 30th January 1984.
In the top left is the British Union Flag (or Union Jack), showing that St. Helena is an overseas territory of Great Britain. with the background colour being a deep blue. All British territories use this colour, it being the blue of the Union Flag. The dimension of the flag are 2:1 – twice as long as it is high. In the centre right is the St Helena Crest, extracted from the Coat of Arms; consisting of two parts: 1. A caricature Wirebird, the national bird of St. Helena. 2. An illustration of a sailing ship outside rocky cliffs (presumably, Jamestown), signifying the importance of St. Helena to shipping in days gone by.
The Coat of Arms was designed by the Garter King of Arms in London in consultation with the Governor and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office during 1982/83. On 30th January 1984, Her Majesty The Queen commanded that the Coat of Arms be registered at the College of Arms for exclusive and sole use on St. Helena. This was published in Gazette No 2 of 31st January 1984.
Our flag is flown by the RMS St. Helena, and it is usually flown over the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on St. Helena’s Day, 21st May.
THE ST HELENA MOTTO
St. Helena’s motto is “Loyal and unshakeable”, but exactly how we acquired these words seems to be a mystery. There is no mention of a motto in the historic records. It has been suggested that it was introduced by Governor Massingham when the new Coat of Arms and flag were commissioned in 1983. It seems there was no public consultation, and exactly who came up with these words is not known, but the island has embraced it.