Jamaican Coat of Arms
The Jamaican Coat of Arms shows a male and female member of the Taino tribe (Jamaica's first inhabitants), a shield, five golden pineapples, a crocodile, a Royal Helmet and Mantlings. The Tainos stand on either side of a shield, both wearing a white feather skirt with a red waistband. The female Taino wears a headdress decorated with a red feather and white ermine headband, holding a basket of fruit in her outside hand. The male Taino wears a headdress with alternating short white and red feathers and holds a bow in his outside hand. The shield features a red cross on a white background (similar to the English flag) with five pineapples adding a tropical flavour. The shield is crowned with a Royal Helmet and the Mantlings of the British Monarchy (this is a unique distinction accorded to Jamaica). On top of the helmet sits a crocodile (an indigenous reptile of Jamaica). At the base of the coat of arms is Jamaica's motto "Out of Many, One People".
The Jamaican Coat of Arms was granted to Jamaica in 1661 under Royal Warrant. It was designed by William Sandcroft who became the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1677. However, credit for the coat of arms is sometimes (mistakenly) given to William Juxon as he was the serving Archbishop of Canterbury when the coat was designed. The coat of arms is also sometimes (incorrectly) stated as being granted in 1662, this is as a result of the dating convention in use at the time. The design is believed to have undergone several changes over the years but only three official changes have been recorded - in 1692, 1957 and 1962.
The coat of arms currently appears on Jamaican bank notes, coins and national documents.© 2008 Jamaica Travel and Culture .com