Jamaica suspends use of British royal emblem after anti-racism protests

WION Web Team
Kingston, Jamaica Published: Jul 01, 2020, 07.52 PM(IST)

British Insignia Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Order of St Michael and St George badge is an honour the Queen typically awards to British ambassadors and senior Foreign Office officials and royal representatives throughout the Commonwealth.

Jamaica has suspended the use of a badge representing one of the highest British royal honours after anti-racism protesters decried its imagery of a white angel standing on the head of Satan depicted as a chained man with dark skin.

The Order of St Michael and St George badge is an honour the Queen typically awards to British ambassadors and senior Foreign Office officials and royal representatives throughout the Commonwealth.

Protesters in Jamaica and elsewhere have likened the image to George Floyd, the Black American who was killed last month after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Clyde Williams, a Jamaican lawyer who was one of the first to raise the issue on social media, said the badge’s imagery was a clear depiction of “white supremacy.”

The Queen’s Representative to Jamaica said he had requested that the imagery on the badge be “changed to reflect an inclusive image of the shared humanity of all peoples.”

A British online petition calling for its redesign has garnered more than 15,000 signatures.

Also, in the wake of the global reckoning with racism, Jamaicans have staged a couple of protests, launched petitions agitating for changes to rectify remnants of colonialism and reignited discussions about becoming a separate republic from the monarchy.

Jamaica became independent from Britain in 1962, however, it is still a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, which is mostly composed of territories of the former British Empire. Successive administrations on the island have talked of also dropping Queen Elizabeth as head of state but never put it to a vote.

(with inputs from Reuters)

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