Fri | Dec 8, 2023

Don't change coat of arms

Published:Friday | August 5, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The call to change the Jamaican coat of arms by Bishop Rowan Edwards is preposterous! If we were to accept his argument about the presence of the bow in the Tainos' hands as symbols of violence, the same fallacy could be applied to the abeng of the Maroons, a powerful symbol of African culture and tradition used to alert the villagers if a wedding, birth or death was being announced, or a call to arms for impending war.

The gumbeh drum used by the Maroons and similar types now used in Anglican and Roman Catholic worship were originally for communicating with the dead, or sending messages to start uprisings against the government.

The Jamaican coat of arms, which is now 325 years old, was accepted by the Government and Opposition at the birth of independent Jamaica in 1962 as a "badge of great historical significance to the nation and should be retained".


Mandeville, Manchester