ST. KITTS & NEVIS

 

 

 

 

History

 

Saint Kitts (also known more formally as Saint Christopher Island (Saint-Christophe in French) is an island in the West Indies. The west side of the island borders the Caribbean Sea, and the eastern coast faces the Atlantic Ocean. Together with the island of Nevis, Saint Kitts constitutes one country: the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

 

St. Kitts was discovered by Christopher Columbus. The earliest settlers were French Huguenots at Dieppe in 1538. In 1623 Sir Thomas Warner (1580 – 10 March 1649) an explorer and a captain, sailed to St. Kitts. He was the first governor of St. Christopher (1623-1649).

In 1625 a French colony was founded. The British and French partitioned the island, with the English in the middle and the French on either end. To exploit the french part of the island Richelieu created the „Compagnie de Saint Christophe” and made Belain d'Esnambuc from Normandy its governor.

The island alternated repeatedly between English and French control over the century, as one power took the whole island, only to have it switch hands due to treaties or further military action. Parts of the island were heavily fortified. The island became British for the final time in 1783.

It was administered as a part of the Leeward Islands Colony. From 1816 until 1833 it formed a separate entity within that colony. It became a province to the short lived West Indies Federation in 1958. When the regional federation of British islands collapsed in 1962, Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla became involved in several attempts by movements towards another union in the Caribbean region.

In 1967, the territory of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla was granted full internal autonomy. In 1971, the island of Anguilla rigorously sought and achieved separation; in 1980, the separation from the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis was formally accepted. The remaining state became the independent country of Saint Kitts and Nevis in 1983, and Anguilla still today remains a British overseas territory.

 

Heraldry

 

The arms of Sir Thomas Warner were:

 

Arms: Or, a bend engralied between six roses Gules.

Crest: The bust of Columbus, Or.

Motto: DU ROY JE LE TIENS (The King is my Suzerain)

 

St. Kitts-Nevis

 

 

The arms for the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis are known from 1903 when they were printed on stamps. They are:

 

Arms: Christopher Columbus standing on board of his ship, looking through his glasses.

 

Together with the arms of the other Leeward Islands they appeared on the arms of the Leeward Colony adopted in 1909.

 

St. Christopher - Nevis - Anguilla

1962-1967

 

 

The arms for the territory, adopted 4 June 1957 were:

 

Arms: Per chevron the chief per pale: the first of St. Kitts, the second of Nevis and the third of Anguilla.

Crest: Three dolphins heads in base tied with a crown around their tails.

 

The arms of Nevis show an allegory of the sources of the island. The arms of Anguilla show an Indian and his canoe on the shore.

 

St. Christopher - Nevis - Anguilla

1967-198

 

An achievement for the autonomous territory was adopted on 28 February 1967. It is:

 

Arms: Argent, a chevron Gules between two flowers of the Poinciana (Delonix regia -Ceasalpiniaea) in chief and a schooner in base proper, and a chief Azure the head of a Carib proper, between a fleur de lys Or and a Rose Argent seeded Gules.

Crest: On a helmet lambrequined Or and Sable, a torch Vert with flames proper held by a black and a white hand proper.

Supporters: Two pelicans, the dexter one holding a palm tree the sinister one a stalk of sugar cane.

Motto: UNITY IN TRINITY.

 

Independent St. Kitts & Nevis

1983- Present

 

When independence was granted on 19 September 1983 the motto was changed in COUNTRY ABOVE SELF

 

š See illustration in the head of this essay.

 

 

Flag of the Governor-General

 

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© Hubert de Vries 2010-03-08