ASPIRING MINDS FOUNDATION
The West Indies Federation/ Federation of the West Indies
The Federation of the West Indies, lasted from 3 January 1958 to 31 May 1962.
It comprised of the ten territories: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, the then St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and Trinidad and Tobago. The Federation was established by the British Caribbean Federation Act of 1956 with the aim of establishing a political union among its members.
However it collapsed due to internal political conflicts. The territories of the federation eventually became the nine contemporary sovereign states of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago; with Anguilla, Montserrat, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands becoming British overseas territories. British Guiana (Guyana) and British Honduras (Belize) held observer status within the West Indies Federation.
During the Federation's existence, each member continued to issue its own postage stamps as before; but on April 22, 1958, each of the members (except for the Cayman Islands) issued a set of three commemorative stamps. All of these stamps used a common design depicting a map of the Caribbean and a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, with an inscription at the top reading "THE WEST INDIES / FEDERATION 1958" at the top and the name of the member at the bottom.
The coat of arms of the West Indies Federation, the shield bore four equally spaced narrow white stripes with ten orange-gold discs representing each island grouping, undulating horizontally across a blue field representing the Caribbean Sea and the sun shining upon the waves. These devices were based upon the flag originally designed by Edna Manley. A triangle is superimposed on the shield, and the shield is topped by a British lion. The scroll beneath proclaims To Dwell Together In Unity. The shield is supported on either side by the country's national bird, the pelican, with wings extended. Above this is a helmet topped with a flaming torch held by an upright arm. The torch signifies a beacon to light a path.