The Portuguese came to Barbados when on their way to Brazil. It was at this time that the island was named Los Barbados (bearded-ones) by the Portugese explorer Pedro a Campos. It was so named, presumably, after the island's fig trees (Ficus Barbata), which have a beard-like appearance.
Despite the Caribs’ ruthless resistance, the island was taken over by the Spanish in 1492. The Spanish however passed Barbados over in favour of the larger Caribbean islands. This left the island open for anyone who wanted to colonize it.
The first English ship touched the island on May 14th 1625 under the command of Captain John Powell. The island was therefore claimed on behalf of King James I.
On 2 July 1627 James Hay 1st Lord Carlisle (* c. 1590 –†1636) obtained from the king a grant of all the Caribbean Islands, including Barbados, this being a confirmation of a former concession given by James I. He was also a patentee and councillor of the plantation of New England, and showed great zeal and interest in the colonies.
The colonists of Barbados established a House of Assembly in 1639.
After the execution of Charles I in 1649, the forces of Cromwell captured Barbados and on 17th January 1652, the Charter of Barbados setting out the conditions of surrender was ratified at Ye Mermaid's Inn, Oistin's Town. With the restoration of the monarchy Barbados was made a crown possession in 1663.
Barbados remained a British colony until internal autonomy
was granted in 1961. The Island gained full independence in 1966, and
maintains ties to the Britain monarch represented in Barbados by the Governor
General. It is a member of the Commonwealth.
of the sovereign of Barbados were the arms of the King of Great Britain and
the United Kingdom. In the time of the protectorate this were the arms of
Cromwell consisting of a quarterly of England, Scotland and Ireland
with the arms of Cromwell on an escutcheon. We may doubt if these arms were
ever displayed on the island.
On behalf of the Admiralty, the administrator of the island, a seal was made for Barbadian affairs. This seal was the model for the badge designed in about 1880 for use on the blue ensign.
After independence all national emblems were changed.
restoration of Charles II a great seal was made for the colony. It ‘expressed
the King’s Sovereignty in the British Seas’ and it showed King Charles II ‘representing
him crowned, in royal robes, and a trident in his hand; sitting in a car,
drawn by sea horses, circumscribed
et penitvs toto regnantes orbe britannos’.
‘And on the other side his Majesties Royall arms in a garter and crown, and his Majesties titles in the circumference, with this addition, DOM BARBADĆ ET INSUL. CARIB.
This (seal) was made for the use of the Commissionaries at the Admiralty Office.’
Great Seal of King Charles II for Barbados and the
A few years later the seal was recut and the portrait of King William III was added at the right side of the first king, now representing Queen Mary II.
Great Seal of Barbados, 17th century
In the 19th century,
about 1880, a badge was designed for the colony. This was based on the first
as well as on the second seal in that the ruler in the seahorse-drawn car
became a crowned queen with orb and trident, forcibly representing Queen
of the Barbados badge as published by the Admiralty 
remained in use until a new flag was adopted on 30 November 1966.
independence an achievement was granted by Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal
Warrant was presented by the Queen herself when she visited the island on 14
Arms: Or, a fig tree (Ficus barbatus -Moraceć) proper,
between two flowers of the Red Pride of Barbados in chief, also proper.
Crest: On a helmet to the dexter,
lambrequined Gules and Or, the arm of a Barbadian per pale, in its fist two
stalks of sugarcane in saltire proper.
Supporters: On the dexter a dolphin Azure,
jelloped, crested and tailed Gules, and on the sinister a pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis - Pelicanidć)
AND INDUSTRY in black
lettering on a golden ribbon lined Gules.
By R.W. 21st of December 1965
đ See illustration in the head of this
monarchy of Barbados is a constitutional system of government in which a
hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Barbados, forming
the core of the country's Westminster style parliamentary democracy. The
terms Crown in Right of Barbados, Her Majesty in Right of Barbados,
or The Queen in Right of Barbados may also be used to refer to the
entire executive of the government of Barbados. The Barbadian Crown has its
roots in the British Crown.
The heraldic symbol
of the monarch of Barbados is Queen Elizabeth's Personal Barbadian
Flag. It was adopted in the seventies of the 20th century.
The flag is yellow
with a bearded fig tree, charged with a blue disc of the letter "E"
crowned, surrounded by a garland of gold roses, between to flowers of the Pride of Barbados in chief.
precedence is the personal flag of the Governor-General.
The flag of the
Governor General shows the royal crest and the name BARBADOS on yellow ribbon.
The emblem of
the Barbados Defence Force consists of a sixpointed star, Gules, charged with
a rising sun of the field, rayed Or, and the crest of Barbados rising from a
sea Azure in base.
Below is the
name of the service on a yellow ribbon.
The emblem of the
Royal Barbados Police Force consists of the achievement of Barbados in full
color, crowned with a red royal crown and surrounded by a green garland.
Below is the
name of the service on a white ribbon.
The cap badge
is identical to the emblem in white metal.
badge is also of white metal and consists of the achievement of Barbados
surrounded by a royally crowned strap with the name of the service.
© Hubert de Vries