What’s in a name?
“The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state.” – Dame Sandra Mason
With the country now a republic, Barbadian people and insignia will replace the symbols historically associated with British rule. From today, Barbados’ 55th Anniversary of Independence from Britain and its birth as a republic, Queen Elizabeth II is no longer Head of State. The word ‘Royal’ will be removed from the names of institutions here, and they will no longer bear the insignia of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
There will be several other changes to the institutions, procedures, and practices that we have known since colonial times.
The official residence of President Dame Sandra Mason will now be called State House. Gone will be the life-size portrait of Queen Elizabeth II which will be replaced with a portrait of Dame Sandra. In place of other members of the British Royal Family will be Barbadian artwork.
The State Car
The Crown will no longer have prominence on the state car. In its place will be the Barbados Coat of Arms. The licence plate on the official presidential vehicle will be changed from GG to PD 1.
The crown on the badges of various ranks in the local police force – the name of which will be changed from the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) to the Barbados Police Service; the Barbados Defence Force (BDF); and the Barbados Prison Service will be replaced with the Barbados Coat of Arms.
Oaths of Allegiance
New oaths will replace oaths of allegiance taken to the Queen. Oaths of allegiance to the republic will be taken by the Prime Minister, Attorney General, and other members of Cabinet, Parliament, and the judiciary.
Imperial honours will be no more. There will be a range of Barbadian honours, with the highest being Freedom of Barbados, which is equivalent to a knighthood.
There will be no change to the country’s name, flag, pledge or the name of Independence Day. In addition, the President would be ceremonial, just like the Governor-General and carry out the same functions.
This article appears in the November 29 edition of the Independence publication. Read the full publication here