Last-minute entry won prize for flag
IN WINNING THE flag design prize, Grantley Prescod not only felt a distinctive personal pride in seeing his creation hoisted on November 30, 1966, but also exhibited a typical characteristic for which Barbadians are known – perseverance.
On the closing date of August 10, 1966, Prescod had completed seven designs, but his sketch of what became Barbados’ National Flag was only done on the morning of the last day of submissions.
Prescod’s design comprised three equal vertical strips, the middle one of gold with a broken trident in its centre, bordered by ultra-marine.
Cabinet chose the winning entry from four submitted to them by a screening panel of judges. The panel was Bruce St John, chairman, Major Leonard Banfield, Maurice Cave, Neville Connell, Mrs Enid Lynch and Mrs BB Ward.
Altogether, 1 029 flag designs were submitted by 520 competitors, but it was quite appropriate that the $500 design prize was won by art teacher Prescod.
With others who played special roles in the Independence exercise, Prescod, now an Education Officer, represented the spirit of Barbados in his determination to do better.
Also an organist, Prescod’s love for art showed at an early age, while he was a student at St Barnabas Boys’ School, and later taught the subject at the nearby Parkinson Comprehensive School, as it was then.
In 1962 he embarked on a one-year course at West of England College of Art, Bristol, for specialist teachers of art. Special studies in ceramics and fabric printing were part of the course.
Mr Prescod said that his design was partly inspired by the Barbados badge which existed before Independence, which depicted sea god Neptune pulling the reins of two horses, riding in a sea shell and carrying the mythical trident.
The broken trident in the National Flag symbolises our break with the colonial past in 1966.
Waved with pride at all national events and flown daily, whatever his own conception, has come to symbolise in many minds the sea and sun of Barbados – the natural beauty of the island – and the bright outlook and outgoing nature of Barbadians.
As in other countries, there has been no move to change its design for whatever reason and it remains our most important symbol of Independence and all that we stand for.
This article was printed in 1987 to mark the 21st anniversary of Independence.