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What is the flag of Martinique?

4 mins reading

It is true that this can be a bit confusing. But why, you may ask? You already know the answer if you tried to find "the" flag of Martinique on the internet. Well... what you need to know is that Martinique has 3 flags. Each one has its reasons for being, its meaning and its history.  Each one is more fascinating than the other. So let's go for a good Creole history lesson!

The flag "with snakes" colonialist

The symbol of the four snakes, present on the uniform of the gendarmes of Martinique until 2018 was the popular flag of Martinique until then. Although the French flag is the official flag of Martinique, the snake flag was used to represent the island over the years. And this, to differentiate it from metropolitan France.

This particular flag has aroused more than one opinion! I can see that you are curious as to why. It is because it has been used on all the ships and boats of Martinique since 1766. Nothing unusual so far, except that it was also hoisted on slave ships. Many people see it as a symbol of slavery. In fact, that's why Emmanuel Macron banned the flag from the gendarmerie's uniform in October 2018.

Spearhead snakes are a characteristic species of the island. You may be curious about them as well. Believe me, you don't want to get familiar with one of them! The cross of course refers to the Christianity of the time. The blue refers to the sea and the white to the monarchy of divine right.

Ahh... All this beautiful history behind this flag! It's a pity that its symbol has become linked to a tragedy over the years.

Martinique flag with four snakes

Source: Wikipédia

The new flag of the CTM " ipséité

Perhaps the most representative flag of Martinique, the new flag Ipséité won the competition of the territorial community of Martinique. Indeed, it was the flag carried by the soccer team at the Gold Cup 2019.

In the center of the flag is a Lambi, Lobatus Gigas for the professionals. The shell of this Creole shell has always been used as a musical instrument. Did you know that Martinique has 34 communes? And it is precisely these communes that the 34 Amerindian stars on the Ipséité flag represent. The eight segments refer to the languages spoken since the European colonization. Yes! 8 European languages are spoken in Martinique: French, English, Spanish, Creole, Italian, Arabic, Chinese and Portuguese. Impressive, isn't it? The blue color obviously evokes the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. And if you have traveled around the island you will understand that the green color refers to the nature and the greenery of its landscapes.

Flag of Martinique Ipseite

Source: Wikipédia

The nationalist flag celebrated by the artist Kalash

The nationalist flag, also called the red, black and green flag, was created in the 1970s. It was first a national emblem of resistance against colonization. Because you see, these colors go back a long way to 1665. And this, during revolts against slavery. Taken up since then in many revolts, the colors have become heavy in meaning and history.

You may wonder about the meaning of each of the colors of this tricolor flag. The black represents the fight for the black cause, the green the fight of the peasant class and the red the socialism. A true symbol of revolt and independence of Martinique.

The Red, Green and Black flag has evolved with the history of Martinique. The three colors were spread vertically at the beginning. Exactly like the French flag. It is only in 1968 that the current flag appeared in the hands of the National Movement of Liberation of Martinique.

Nationalist flag, red green black

Source: Wikipédia

The official flag of Martinique is...

If you're still wondering what the official flag of Martinique is, I'd say it's indeed the Ipséité flag. The people of Martinique voted in 2019 in the contest of the CTM. The same contest was also used to elect the national anthem. But that's a story for another time. Dear Tourcribians, I say to you to the next one for another lesson of history!

The people of Martinique are proud people. With one or more flags, we all remain the same warm people with a rich and eventful history. Whatever the colors on the flag at the end of the pole, the Martinican locals remain united. The expression differs, but the substance remains the same.

Meanwhile, I have a question for you... Do you know the capital of Martinique? A question that seems easy at first glance. Many will say that it is Fort-de-France. However, the answer to the question can be just as confusing as the one answered in this article! That's why we've devoted a separate article to it.

Book more than 124 authentic activities to do in Martinique

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About the author

27 years old, Marving grew up in SchƓlcher, in Fond-Lahaye and Anse Madame more precisely. Passionate about the digital world, he works as a digital marketing consultant during the day and regularly writes articles about his native island.

Marving Moreton

Copywriter & Cofounder of Tourcrib

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