National Anthem
"God Save the Queen (alternatively "God Save the King" during the reign of a male sovereign) is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms, their territories, and the British Crown Dependencies.] The words and title are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, i.e. replacing "Queen" with "King", "she" with "he", and so forth, when a king reigns.

Only one or two verses of the National Anthem is sung at official ceremonies
God Save the Queen
God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen
 
O Lord our God arise
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall
Confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix
Oh save us all
 
Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign;
May she defend our laws
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen
 
Not in this land alone,
But be God's mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord, make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world over.
From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
God save the Queen!
 
Composed by: Thomas Augustine Arne
(1710-1778)
We Salute This Land of Ours
O we salute this land of ours our country we declare
This promise land with its beauties grand
Though small it is our own

CHORUS
Turks & Caicos, Turks & Caicos
Our country firm and free Our allegiance Turks & Caicos We pledge and we affirm.

Our people forged and blend
With multiplicity of race and kind and creed and tongue
United by our goals
From the east, west, north and south Our banks and oceans meet Surrounding sands and hills of glee Our pristine beauties see

CHORUS
Turks & Caicos, Turks & Caicos
Our country firm and free Our allegiance Turks & Caicos We pledge and we affirm.

We stand with courage brave
To maintain this land of ours
With Islands scattered here and there
With trust in God we stand

CHORUS
Turks & Caicos, Turks & Caicos
Our country firm and free Our allegiance Turks & Caicos We pledge and we affirm.
 
Lyrics and music by: Rev Dr. Conrad Howell
National Dress
National DressSix colours were chosen for the main islands of the Turks and Caicos and two more for symbols of our national pride. Pink for the conch shell and our flamingos and Yellow, the colour of the sun shining down on our beautiful islands and cays and also the sun is a major factor in bringing us all our tourist visitors.

Colours were selected for each island:

Red
for Grand Turk representing the red/pink fruit of the national plant, the Turks Head Cactus;

White
for Salt Cay and the colour of salt;

Orange
for South and East Caicos showing off the colours of the spiny lobster and fish as well as the fishing industry in South Caicos;

Tan
for Middle Caicos and the natural colour of the island’s thatch that covered most of the early homes and roofs and today the colour represents the crafts of basket weaving, straw hats and brooms;

Green
for North Caicos and Parrot Cay where fruit trees and others flourish in the fertile soil along with Wades Green Plantation where cotton grew and flourished in days gone by;

Turquoise
for Providenciales, Pine Cay and West Caicos where the turquoise water surrounds us and contributes to bringing us our newest resource of tourism.
National Coat of Arms
The coat of arms of the Turks and Caicos Islands was granted in 1965.

While the term coat of arms is applied to the full achievement (in this case, shield, helmet, mantling, crest and supporters), in sensu strictu the term applies to the shield only. So it is correct to say that the arms are displayed on the Blue Ensign.

The arms consist of a shield bearing a conch shell, lobster, and Turks Head Cactus on a yellow background. The dexter and sinister supporters are flamingos. The crest is a pelican between two sisal plants representing connection to the rope industry.

Beneath the crest and above the shield is a helmet and accompanying mantling. In paper heraldry mantling is a depiction of the protective cloth covering worn by knights from their helmets to stave off the elements, and, secondarily, to decrease the effects of sword-blows against the helmet in battle, from which it is usually shown tattered or cut to shreds.

The shield from the arms is featured on the flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and on the 6 defaced Union Flag of the Governor.

Common errors made in the rendering of the Turks and Caicos Coat of Arms include:
  1. The colour of sisal beneath the pelican: the correct colour is green.
  2. The colour of the shield: the correct colour is yellow.
  3. The colour of the Turks Head Cactus on the shield: The correct colour is a dark green base with a red cylindrical top.
  4. The colour of the mantling: the correct colours are yellow and aqua.
The colour and detail of the flamingos: The correct colour is a pale pink body with dark pink legs. Great detail is paid depicting the feathers.

Lobster

Caribbean spiny lobsters (Panulirus argus) inhabit tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. This nocturnal species inhabits crevices of rocks and coral reefs, only occasionally venturing out at night to seek snails, clams, crabs, sea urchins or carrion to eat. Sometimes, they migrate in very large groups in long files of lobsters across the sea floor. These lines may be more than 50 lobsters long. Spiny lobsters navigate by using the smell and taste of natural substances in the water that change in different parts of the ocean.

Flamingo

Flamingos can be found in warm, watery regions like the Turks and Caicos Islands and on many continents. They favour environments like estuaries and saline or alkaline lakes and thrive on the extensive mud flats where they breed and feed.

Flamingos also have long, lean, curved necks and black-tipped bills with a distinctive downward bend that allows them to feed on small organisms—plankton, tiny fish, fly larvae, and the like. In muddy flats or shallow water, they use their long legs and webbed feet to stir up the bottom. They then bury their bills, or even their entire heads, and suck up both mud and water to access the tasty morsels within. A flamingo's beak has a filter like structure to remove food from the water before the liquid is expelled.

Shrimplike crustaceans are responsible for the flamingo's pink colour. The birds pale in captivity unless their diet is supplemented.

Greater flamingos live and feed in groups called flocks or colonies. They find safety in numbers, which helps to protect individual birds from predators while their heads are down in the mud. Greater flamingos also breed while gathered in groups. Once mating is complete, a pair takes turns incubating their single egg. Young flamingos are born grey and white and do not turn pink for two years. In years when wetlands and pools are dry and food scarce, flamingos may not breed.

Queen Conch

The queen conch is a large, marine, gastropod mollusc. Queen conchs achieve full size at about 3- 5 years of age, growing to a maximum of about 12 inches (30.4 cm) long and weighing about 5 pounds (2.3 kg). The queen conch is a long-lived species, generally reaching 20-30 years old; however, the lifespan has been estimated at up to 40 years. The queen conch lives in sand, sea grass bed, and coral reef habitats. It is found in warm, shallow water and is generally not found deeper than 70 feet. The queen conch is found throughout the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, and ranges as far north as Bermuda and as far south as Brazil.

National Plant
Turks Head Cactus

The Turks Head cactus (Melocactus intortus) gets its name from its cylindrical red flowering top (called a cephalium), which to some early botanists resembled a Turkish fez. The rounded, pale green stem is the photosynthetic body, produced when the plant is young. Up to 20 large, broad ribs run up the length of the stem, and it is covered in stout, yellow-brown spines which may measure up to 7 centimetres.

The cephalium or red cap is produced when the Turk’s head cactus reaches maturity, and continues to grow until the plant dies. It is a dense mass of areoles, made up of white wool and soft brown or reddish bristles. The small, generally pinkish flowers form on top of the cephalium. The conspicuous fruits of the Turk’s head cactus are broad and club-shaped, and are usually red or pink.

The Turk’s head cactus is widespread in the Turks and Caicos Islands and occurs throughout the Caribbean, including the Antilles, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda.
National Tree
Caicos Pine

The Caicos pine (Pinus caribaea Morelet var. bahamensis) is a hard pine variety of the Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea) endemic to the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands. It occurs on four islands in the Bahamas and three in TCI.
National Flower
Heather

The heather’s scientific name is Limonium bahamense. This species is endemic to the Turks & Caicos and is restricted to just a few of the islands. The heather likes to grow around the edges of Salinas. It is a small herbaceous plant, up to 30 centimetres tall with tiny purple flowers, surrounded by a white sheath clustered together around the end of a red stem.
National Bird
Brown Pelican

The Brown Pelican is the smallest of the eight species of pelican. It is one of only 3 pelican species found in the Western Hemisphere and is one of the only two pelican species which feeds by diving into the water.

National Flag

The flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands is similar to the flags of other British dependencies and colonies as it has the Union Flag in the canton. It was adopted on November 7, 1968. It is a defaced Blue Ensign; the yellow (badge) shield is taken from the territory's coat of arms and contains a conch shell, lobster, and cactus, it is being encompassed by an imaginary circle of diameter measuring 4/9 hoist width of flag.

Red Ensign

A red Ensign is used by the Merchant Navy


image by Martin Grieve, 21 June 2004


State Ensign (1968)




Incorrect TCI Flags








Diplomatic Service Flag – The Governor’s Flag

The Governor flew the Union flag defaced with laurel garland, the badge enclosed within, but unfortunately it is not known when the Union Jack defaced with the present badge came into use.

Before 2011



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