Coat of Arms
The Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago was designed in 1962, by a committee of distinguished citizens established to select and design the country’s national emblems. Committee members included noted artist Carlisle Chang (1921–2001) and Carnival Designer, George Bailey (1935–1970) . The Coat of Arms incorporates important historical and indigenous elements of Trinidad and Tobago. They are: the Shield, the Helm of special design, the Mantle which covers the Helm, the Wreath to hold the Mantle in place, the Crest, the Supports and the Motto. Chang’s description of his artwork provides clarity as to the intent of the colours used. The main colour features of the original artwork were:
THE LIVERY COAT OR COLOURS ON THE SHIELD
The sub-committee agreed that the colours should be Black, White and Red.
Red was felt to be the colour most expressive of the country and was said to represent the vitality of the land and its people.
White is said to represent the sea by which these lands are bound, the cradle of the past and the purity of our aspirations.
Black represents the dedication of all in one strong bond. It is the colour of strength, unity and purpose.
It was agreed that the charges on the shield should be three ships together with two or three GOLD hummingbirds.
It was agreed that the Government should apply for the grant of the Queens Helm i.e. a GOLD helmet facing front and having five GOLD bars across the visor, the interior lined RED.
THE MANTLE RESTING ON THE HELM
As directed by the College of Heralds, the mantle as derived from that of the Queen is RED lined with ERMINE.
Contains a twist of two colours, SABLE (black) and VERT (green).
The Scarlet Ibis and the Cocrico in “rampant” and natural colours, i.e. reproducing to the nearest of its true colours.
The Crest should be a conventional palm “infloriate” and having five branches. Infloriate is translated to mean “fruitful or bearing’.
The Motto was chosen by the Committee using the font Times New Roman.
A most remarkable feature of our Coat of Arms is the presence of the three peaks of the supporting island on the right, and the fruited coconut palm on the crest. The three peaks, now honoured with a lasting place on our Arms, are the same three hills that constituted the principal motif of Trinidad’s early British Colonial Seals and Flag Badges that must originally have been chosen in commemoration of Columbus’ decision to name the larger island after the Trinity; or perhaps they were meant to be the same three peaks (our “Three Sisters”) that rose before the eyes of sailor Alonzo Perez Nizardo from the Caribbean horizon as he casually climbed to the crow’s nest of the Discoverer’s ship that midday of July 31,1498.
The fruited coconut palm had always been the central figure on the Great Seals of British Colonial Tobago and was an adornment to the Governor’s Standard in the days when this island was a separate administrative unit. Removed by the accidents of history, it was returned resplendently, with a gold ship’s wheel at its base on the very crest of this National Emblem of Independent Trinidad and Tobago.
These applications are subject to design standards that prescribe elements such as size, layout, colour and typography. These specifications will be outlined further. Isolation Zones All representations of the Coat of Arms must adhere to a 5mm clearance space on all sides and no design elements are permitted within the 5mm region.
The minimum size for presenting the Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago is 20mm x 20mm