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Vexillopedia

Flag of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Ratio 1:2
Adoption 2002
Design Blue ensign with the coat-of-arms of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands in the fly. [0]
Colors
#00247D
#FFFFFF
#CF142B

History

The original flag had a smaller version of the coat-of-arms displayed in a white disc, but this was later changed to the current flag. In June 2006, the College of Arms in Newsletter No. 9 said, "South Georgia and Sandwich Islands: the flag of this overseas territory, illustrated left, has been approved by Her Majesty and accordingly placed on record at the College of Arms, along with the flag of the commissioner of the territory. College reference: Standards 5/96, 97." The flag that is illustrated in Newsletter No. 9 shows the arms in full, without a white disc.

The coat of arms of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands was granted in 1985, upon the creation of the territory. Prior to 1985, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands were a dependency of the Falkland Islands, and used their coat of arms. However, prior to 1962, the islands were grouped with what is now the British Antarctic Territory and their coat of arms was used instead of the Falkland Islands’ arms. [0][1]

Meaning

The arms consist of a shield containing a golden lion rampant holding a torch, representing the United Kingdom and discovery, together with two golden estoiles from the arms of James Cook who discovered the islands. The background of the shield is blue and white lozenges. The supporters are a fur seal and a macaroni penguin, both animals native to the islands. The crest is a reindeer, from the two herds of reindeer found on South Georgia Island. The seal stands on a mountain, while the penguin stands on ice.

The motto is Leo Terram Propriam Protegat (Latin: “[Let the] Lion protect his own land”). [1]