14.06.2016

The St. Maarten Flag was ratified 31 years ago

June 13, 2016 marks the 31st anniversary since the St. Maarten Flag was ratified by the Island Council.

Flag Day, over the years, was marked as a Day of Observance where for a few hours the public would be encouraged to stand still and carefully watch and examine with special attention the symbol that exemplifies the highest sense of patriotism.

Considering that June 13 is not a public holiday, the importance of acknowledging and giving reverence to our flag fell short of its true meaning of encouraging patriotic display of our truest colors and the exhibition of our legacy and heritage by championing our flag in the most prideful and reverential manner. For many the day goes by without a blip on their radar.

The St. Maarten flag was hoisted for the first time on November 11, 1985 after its establishment by Island Decree on June 13, of the same year. The merging of St. Maarten and Flag Day annually has the potential of bringing out the desired heightened sense and spirit of patriotism. All efforts will be made to magnify the merger of the St. Maarten and Flag Day starting as early as the month of October, the month St. Maarten assumed a new constitutional status six years ago on October 10, 2010 leading into the month of November which de facto has become the month the St. Maarten Flag is celebrated annually by St. Maarteners home and abroad due to the historical fact of the flag being hoisted for the first time on November 11, 1985.

As Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs I am encouraging all persons residing on St. Maarten as well as St. Maarteners abroad on June 13, 2016 to reflect, analyze and absorb the symbolism and colors imbedded in our flag. The red white and blue entail significant purpose. The Red is for solidarity and courage. It identifies what our island and people stand for. The white is for peace and friendliness, and the blue is for the environment such as the skies, the beaches and seas. The Coat of Arms consists of an orange-bordered azure shield prominently displaying the white Court House in Philipsburg, as well as a bouquet of yellow sage (the national flower) in the upper left, and the silhouette of a Dutch-French friendship monument in the upper right; the shield is surmounted by a gold rising sun in front of which is a dull grey pelican in flight; a gold scroll below the shield bears the motto: SEMPER PRO GREDIENS (Always Progressing) in letters of azure. Let us engrave the motto that is in gold scrolled below the shield in our hearts and minds and become the forward looking, thinking and aspiring people, while remaining respectful and mindful of the past, that our flag challenges us to be. A Happy Commemoration of Flag Day to all who love St. Maarten as we look forward to celebrating St. Maarten/Flag Day on November 11th, a National Holiday where we can do it true justice.

Silveria Jacobs, Minister of Education Culture Youth & Sports

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