Trinidad & Tobago

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HOW TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO WAS GOVERNED BEFORE INDEPENDENCE
Our Nation’s Attainment of Independence in 1962 marked the end of colonial rule that had started during the 16th century under the aegis of Spain and had continued when the British captured Trinidad. In the meantime, Tobago had its own uneven political history, changing hands from one European power to another whilst having its own bicameral elective legislature from as early as 1768. As Crown Colony governance became tighter from the mid-19th century that melancholy isle was deprived of its bicameral legislature in 1874 and in 1877 was made a purely nominative, one-chambered Crown Colony legislature. In 1889, Tobago was united administratively with Trinidad in order to reduce British expenses in the Caribbean and in 1899 the noose was further tightened when that colony was made a ward of Trinidad and Tobago. From the beginning of the 20th century, Tobago joined Trinidad in advocating freedom from colonial rule, becoming an integral part of the achievement on Independence in 1962. NATIONAL FLAG

The flag of Trinidad and Tobago was adopted on August 31, 1962, and consists of a red background with a white and black band diagonally placed across the upper left corner to the bottom right corner. The two white stripes are symbolic of the bountiful sea, the red represents the people, and black represents their hard work and strength.

COAT OF ARMS
The shield of the coat of arms contains the same colors as the nation's flag, and carry the same meaning. The gold ships within the shield represent Christopher Columbus' ships: the Santa Maria, La Nina, and La Pinta. The two birds above the ships, in the black section, are hummingbirds representing the more than sixteen different species of hummingbird that have been recorded on the island of Trinidad. On the left side of the shield stands a Scarlet Ibis, while on the right is a Cocrico. Below the Scarlet Ibis are three hills, representing the Trinity Hills in southern Trinidad. Those were the hills that Christopher Columbus saw during his visit to the islands, and what prompted him to give the name, "Trinidad." The island rising out of the waters beneath the Cocrico represents Tobago, and below these birds is the nation's motto, "Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve."

CHACONIA
The Chaconia, the national flower of Trinidad and Tobago is a wild, forest flower. Coincidentally, this flower usually blooms around the time of the anniversary of the Country’s Independence Day, August 31, 1962. Also called “Wild Poinsettia” or “Pride of Trinidad and Tobago”, the Chaconia represents the imperishability of life and the continuity of the nation.

NATIONAL BIRDS
The National Birds of Trinidad and Tobago are the Scarlet Ibis (Trinidad) and the Cocrico (Tobago). The Scarlet Ibis, referred to locally as “flamingo” resembles many of the other species of ibis, but its remarkably brilliant scarlet colour makes it unmistakable. The Cocrico (Rufus Tailed Guan) is a native of Tobago but is not found in Trinidad. Also called the Tobago Pheasant, it is the only game bird on the island. It is about the size of a common fowl, brownish in colour with a long tail. The Scarlet Ibis and Cocrico are both represented on the Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago.
NATIONAL ANTHEM
Forged from the Love of Liberty is the national anthem of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Originally composed as the national anthem for the short-lived West Indies Federation (1958-1962), this song was adopted by Trinidad and Tobago when it became independent in 1962.

NATIONAL PLEDGE

WATCHWORDS
Message to the Youth of the Nation – Dr. Eric Williams In a speech delivered at the Independence Youth Rally, Queen’s Park Oval on 30th August 1962, (the eve of our Independence from Britain), to the soon-to-be citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. “…I have given to the Nation as its watchwords, Discipline, Production, Tolerance. STEELPAN...
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