What are National Symbols?
National Symbols are signs, marks and objects for which nations and countries is know/recognized. Examples go theses symbols are the flag, coat of arms, currency and passports.
The blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) is the majestic fish that is found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with reports of the largest sizes found in the latter. The blue marlin, a relative of the sailfish and swordfish, is easily recognizable for the long “sword” or spike of its upper jaw, it's high and pointed dorsal fin, and pointed anal fin. It is said that the fish uses its “sword” to club other fish on which it feeds. The marlin’s back is cobalt blue and its flanks and underbelly are silvery white. There may be light-blue or lavender vertical stripes on the sides as well. A powerful and aggressive fighter, the blue marlin can run hard and long, sound or dive deep, and leap high into the air in a display of strength.
The scarlet, long-legged flamingoes are found in three major nesting groups in the West Indian region, Great Inagua being one of them (the others are in Yucatan, Mexico, and Bonaire Island in the Netherlands Antilles.) The more than 50,000 birds inhabiting 287 square miles of Inagua wilderness are protected by wardens employed by the Society for the Protection of the Flamingo in The Bahamas through the Bahamas National Trust, a statutory body set up in 1959.
The Yellow Elder was chosen as the national flower of the Bahamas because it is native to the Bahama Islands, and it blooms throughout the year. Selection of the yellow elder over many other flowers was made through the combined popular vote of members of all four of New Providence's garden clubs of the 1970s – the Nassau Garden Club, the Carver Garden Club, the International Garden Club, and the Y.W.C.A. Garden Club. They reasoned that other flowers grown there – such as the bougainvillea, hibiscus, and poinciana – had already been chosen as the national flowers of other countries. The yellow elder, on the other hand, was unclaimed by other countries (although it is now also the national flower of the United States Virgin Islands).
The Lignum vitae, meaning tree of life, is from the genus Guaicum (caltrop family or Zygophyllaceae) and is the National Tree of The Bahamas. The extremely hard and heavy self-lubricating wood is especially adapted for bearings or bushings of propeller shafts on steamships, and also serves for bearings in steel mills, for bowling balls, and pulleys. For many years, dating back to World War II, shipments of the wood were made from The Bahamas to the United Kingdom and the United States by the old New Providence firm of Duncombe and Butler. Apart from its industrial uses, the bark of the tree is used for medicinal purposes, and many Bahamians throughout the islands steep the bark and drink it as a tonic for creating energy as an aphrodisiac.
The Bahamas’ coat of arms is a composition of things indigenous to these islands, while the motto “Forward Upward Onward Together” heralds to the direction and manner in which the Bahamian nation should move.
The colours embodied in the design of the Bahamian flag symbolise the image and aspirations of the people of The Bahamas; the design reflects aspects of the natural environment (sun, sand, and sea) and the economic and social development. The flag is a black equilateral triangle against the mast, superimposed on a horizontal background made up of two colours on three equal stripes of aquamarine, gold and aquamarine. The symbolism of the flag is as follows: Black, a strong colour, represents the vigour and force of a united people, the triangle pointing towards the body of the flag represents the enterprise and determination of The Bahamian people to develop and possess the rich resources of sun and sea symbolized by gold and aquamarine respectively. There are rules on how to use the flag for certain events. For a funeral the National Flag should be draped over the coffin covering the top completely but not covering the bearers. The black triangle on the flag should be placed over the head of the deceased in the coffin. The flag will remain on the coffin throughout the whole service and removed right before lowered into the grave. Upon removal of the flag it should be folded with dignity and put away. The black triangle should never be displayed pointing upwards or from the viewer's right. This would be a sign of distress.
Composed by the late, Timothy Gibson Lift up your head to the rising sun, Bahamaland; March on to glory your bright banners waving high. See how the world marks the manner of your bearing! Pledge to excel through love and unity. Pressing onward, march together to a common loftier goal; Steady sunward, tho' the weather hide the wide and treacherous shoal. Lift up your head to the rising sun, Bahamaland, 'Til the road you've trod lead unto your God, March On, Bahamaland.
Written by Rev. Philip Rahming I Pledge my allegiance to the flag and to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas For which it stands, one people united in love and service.