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Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1494 and the Spanish settled there in the early 16th Century.

Later on African slaves replaced the native Taino Indians who lived in Jamaica for years. In 1655, England seized the island and a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa and coffee was established.

Sugar plantations were established on the Island until 1834  -when slavery was abolished. The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed quarter million slaves many of whom became small farmers.

Agricultural products include – sugar cane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, ackees, vegetables, poultry, goats, milk, crustaceans and mollusks.

Royal Warrant granted the Coat of Arms to Jamaica in 1661. Some say it was granted in February 1662 not 1661owing to an error in the change of the old style of dating to the new! Nevertheless the Coat of Arms takes note of the Arawaks who were the first inhabitants of the land. The pineapples represent the local fruits. While the Crocodile represents the local reptiles in the Country!

Did you know that the Royal Helmet as seated in the middle of the shield and the Mantling represent a unique distinction given to Jamaica? Did you also know that the Jamaican motto on the base of the Coat of Arms which reads “Out of Many, One People” which is almost similar to the motto of the United States “Out of Many, One”!!!

Did you know that the colours of the Jamaican Flag are symbolic? Yellow represents sunshine and natural resources; Black represents the burdens carried by the people and Green stands for agriculture and hope for the future?

Coat of Arms of Jamaica
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