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Cayman Islands - Coat of Arms

Last modified: 2021-08-25 by rob raeside
Keywords: cayman islands | lion | pineapple | turtle | star (green) | stars: 3 |
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image by Graham Bartram

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Coat of Arms

Three stars (representing the islands) on a wavy field (representing the sea), with a lion (representing links with Britain) in chief. The crest is a turtle and a pineapple plant. Arms adopted on 14 May 1958.
James Dignan, 22 November1995

The turtle represents the abundance of turtles around the islands. There is also a rope underneath the turtle which represents the islands first major export: rope making for ships. The motto He hath founded it upon the seas is referring to the fact that Christopher Columbus was the first European to discover the Cayman Islands which were then named "Las Tortugas" by Columbus himself.
Jennifer Bodden-Evans, 27 May 1997

This is the description of the Cayman Islands arms that appear on the flag. The turtle is the crest and the "rope" beneath it is the heraldic wreath. No connection to the rope industry here, but there are two other Carribean arms that do have this connection: Turks & Caicos Islands and Antigua & Barbuda.
Nahum Shereshevsky, 31 May 1997

The meaning of the Turtle is that the Caymans (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman) were known as "Tortuga" (Turtle in Spanish) during the period when pirates used to hang around the Caribean Sea. The reason is very simple: the Island was crowded with them. Even today they have lots of them, even have a farm to raise turtles for gastronomic reasons (urgh!). There you can find also Stingrays, but they didn't get any space in the flag. What a shame...
Antonio Trops, 22 December 1998

Turks/Caicos and the Cayman Islands were dependencies of Jamaica. Turks had its own badge based on the Seal of the colony from 1875 until 1958 when it was replaced by the current shield, Caymans didn't have a badge at all until 1958.
David Prothero, 22 November 1999

The American Express commercial playing on tv these days shows the flag of the Caymen Islands flying from a pole, with the badge in a white disc in the usual place in a blue field UK Blue Ensign. Our website has the same flag shown as an illustration.
The World Flag Database has a different illustration showing flag not a white disc, but placed directly on the field.
Steve Stringfellow, 7 Febuary 2000

From <>:
"The Cayman Islands coat of arms consists of a shield, a crested helm and the motto. Three green stars representing the Islands are set in the lower two-thirds of the shield. The stars rest on blue and white wavy bands representing the sea. In the top third of the shield, against a red background, is a gold lion "passant guardant" (walking with the further forepaw raised and the body seen from the side), representing Great Britain. Above the shield is a green turtle on a coil of rope. Behind the turtle is a gold pineapple. The turtle represents Cayman's seafaring history; the rope, its traditional thatch-rope industry; and the pineapple, its ties with Jamaica.
The Islands' motto, He hath founded it upon the seas, is printed at the bottom of the shield. This verse from Psalms 24 acknowledges Cayman's Christian heritage.
The proposal for a coat of arms was approved by the Legislative Assembly in 1957, and public input was sought on its design. The Royal Warrant assigning "Armorial Ensigns for the Cayman Islands" was approved by Her Majesty's command on 14 May 1958.
J.T. Liston, 6 Febuary 2002