Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
1708 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Monday - Friday
9:00am - 5:00pm
Monday - Wednesday, Friday
10:00am - 2:30pm
Passports may be collected from Monday - Friday, 10am-4pm.
The Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago
The Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago was designed in 1962, by a committee of distinguished citizens established to select and design the country's national emblems. Committee members included noted artist Carlyle Chang and Carnival Designer George Bailey.
The Coat of Arms incorporates important historical and indigenous elements of Trinidad and Tobago. They are: The Shield, The Helm of special design, the Mantle which covers the Helm, the Wreath to hold the Mantle in place, the Crest, the Supports and the Motto.
At the top is the Crest - a ship's wheel in gold in front of a fruited coconut palm. This palm had always been the central figure on the Great Seals of British Colonial Tobago. Beneath the wheel is the wreath which holds the mantle in place.
The Helm is a gold helmet facing front which represents the Queen. The devices on the Shield are the two humming birds. The three gold ships represent the Trinity - the discovery of the islands and the three ships of Columbus; the sea that brought our people together; and the commerce and wealth of our country. The colours of the National Flag are displayed on the Shield.
The National Birds of Trinidad and Tobago
The Scarlet Ibis
The Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus Ruber) is a species of ibis that occurs in tropical South America and Trinidad and Tobago. The largest habitat of the Scarlet Ibis is the Caroni Swamp in central Trinidad. This beautiful bird is brown when young and, its colour changes to red when it is mature.
The Cocrico (Red tailed Guan or Rufus -tailed Chachalaca) is a native of Tobago and Venezuela, but is not found in Trinidad. It is the only game bird on the island of Tobago, and is referred to as the Tobago Pheasant. It is about the size of a common fowl, brownish in colour with a long tail.
Both birds are featured on the Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago and are protected by law.
The National Flower
The National Flower, the Chaconia, (Warszewiczia Coccinea), called "Wild Poinsetta" or "Pride of Trinidad and Tobago" is a flaming red forest flower of the family Rubianceae. The title is in honour of the last Spanish Governor of Trinidad and Tobago, Don Jose Maria Chacon. This flower which is known by its long sprays of magnificent vermillion blooms on every anniversary of our Independence. As an indigenous flower it has been witness to our entire history. It can therefore be said to represent the imperishability of life and the continuity of our Nation. With its colour matching the flaming red of our Flag and Coat of Arms, and bearing the same symbolism, the Chaconia harmonizes with the national Emblems.
The National Flag
Red is the colour most expressive of our country. It represents the vitality of the land and its people; it is the warmth and energy of the sun, the courage and friendliness of the people.
White is the sea by which these lands are bound: the cradle of our heritage; the purity of our aspirations and the equality of all men and women under the sun.
The Black represents for us the dedication of the people joined together by one strong bond. It is the colour of strength, of unity, of purpose and of the wealth of the land.
The colours chosen represent the elements Earth, Water and Fire which encompass all our past, present and future and inspire us as one united, vital, free and dedicated people.
The National Instrument
The steelpan was invented in Trinidad and Tobago and is widely regarded as the only major musical instrument to be invented in the 20th century.
The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards describes the steelpan as “a definite pitch percussion instrument in the idiophone class, traditionally made from a steel drum or steel container. The metallic playing surface is concave with a skirt attached. The playing surface is divided into convex sections by channels, groves and/or bores. Each convex section is played by striking the pan with sticks to produce musical note."