• Independence Day Trinidad and Tobago

    Independence Day Trinidad and Tobago

    Image Courtesy Vecteezy.com

     

    On August 31st 1962 Trinidad and Tobago was granted independence. This meant that we were no longer under British rule. The Queen of England was no longer our monarch but we still needed the advice of her representatives.

    At midnight on August 30th 1962 the Union Jack, the British flag, was lowered and our flag was raised for the first time.

    Our flag was designed by Carlisle Chang and each colour has a special meaning:

     

    Trinidad & Tobago National Flag

    Image courtesy flaglane.com

     Red- fire: the sun representing courage
     White- water: representing purity and equality
     Black- earth: representing dedication and strength

    What other positive message can our flag represent?

    In the year of 1962, when our independence was officially declared, the people of Trinidad and Tobago celebrated exuberantly from the 28th of August to the 5th of September. Wouldn’t you want to celebrate for a week if you were newly independent?

    How do we celebrate Independence Day today?

    Every year there is a military-style parade at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain and in Scarborough, Tobago.

    In Trinidad, the parade officers are inspected by the Head of State while in Tobago, they are inspected by the Chief Secretary who is the Head of the Tobago House of Assembly (T.H.A). Before Trinidad and Tobago became a republic in 1976, the parade was led by the Governor General, who was the Queen’s representative in Trinidad and Tobago. 

    After the official parade, the groups march through the streets accompanied by live music from various bands within our defence force (Fire, Police, Regiment,  Prisons.) The public usually lines the streets to cheer on the parade and it creates a carnival-like atmosphere with much fun and entertainment.

    Who wouldn’t enjoy a nice cool sno-cone while watching the bands march by?

    In the evening, the National Awards are presented at the President’s House where the outstanding achievements of citizens in various fields are honoured. These awards were first presented in 1969.

    Why is Independence Day important?

    Independence Day signifies our liberation from being ‘owned’ by the British monarchy. We fought hard to ready ourselves for this occasion and showed our twin island state to be self-sufficient – able to take care of ourselves without help – through our strength of character, tenacity. Just think of our national watchwords: Discipline, Production, Tolerance or our National Motto: “Together we aspire, together we achieve.” What do these mean to you?

    To our government and citizens in 1962, they meant working together for the improving of the nation and gaining our independence helped greatly in boosting confidence in ourselves and our country.

    We always end our celebrations with a bang! 

    At the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain, Trinidad and the Port Authority Compound in Scarborough, Tobago there is a fireworks display. Thousands of Trinbagonians gather from early evening to get the best spots to enjoy the fireworks and to wish our nation a Happy Independence Day.

    What are you doing to celebrate Independence Day?

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