The British Windward Islands was a British colony existing between 1833 and 1960 and consisting of the islands of Grenada, St Lucia, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Barbados (seat of the governor to 1885, when it became a separate colony), Tobago (to 1889 when it was joined to Trinidad), and Dominica (from 1940, when it was transferred from the British Leeward Islands to the Windward Islands).

The colony was known as the Federal Colony of the Windward Islands from 1871 to June 1956, and then as the Territory of the Windward Islands to its dissolution in 1960.

In 1958 it was united with the Leeward Islands into the West Indies Federation.

Its capital was Saint George's on Grenada (originally Bridgetown on Barbados, 1871-1885).


The achievement for the Governor of the Windward Islands was designed in 1884/85. The arms show a quartered shield, each quarter probably meant to bear the symbol of one of the constituting islands. Around the arms is a strap with the words governor in chief windward islands. On top of the strap is the Imperial State Crown. The motto reads: i pede fausto (It goes with happy pace). In 1903 the Imperial State Crown was exchanged for the Crown of St. Edward. [1].

There seems to be some confusion about the correct tinctures of the fourth quarter of the arms. This quarter, initially intended to bear the symbol of Barbados which, however left the union in 1885, most of the time is of a light shade of grey which suggests the tincture Argent. In a version of the arms of the Windward Islands itself (so, not of the GiC) of the thirties of the 20th c., the fourth quarter is purple (Purpure), the crown on the shield is the St. Edwards crown and the motto is written in black lettering on a golden escroll. This version seems to be legalized on 16.VIII.1939, the fourth quarter however, black (Sable).




Achievement of the Governor in Chief of the Windward Islands

First version


Arms: Quarterly Gules, Or, Vert and Argent.

Compartment: A blue disc, surrounded with a strap with the text GOVERNOR IN CHIEF WINDWARD ISLANDS.

Crown: The Crown of St Edward.

Motto: I PEDE FAUSTO. (Go with a lucky Foot)


see illustration of the second version in the head of this essay


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Hubert de Vries 2010-02-19


[1]) Neubecker. p. 50.