Caribbean News

No to the British National Anthem

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says he is opposed to the playing of the British National Anthem, “God Save the Queen” at functions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

He told reporters he has repeatedly questioned the reason for it.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines attained political independence from Britain in 1979 and Queen Elizabeth II has been the island’s head of state, represented by a Governor General.

Gonsalves, asked to explain his government’s decision to swear in the new Governor General Susan Dougan on Emancipation Day, noted that the event included the playing of “God Save the Queen”, which some people considered as inappropriate, on Emancipation Day, in a country where the majority of the population are descendants of previously enslaved persons.

He said regarding the installation of the Governor General, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines anthem was played when the flag of the island was raised and the British anthem was played when the Governor General’s standard, with the crown on it, which is representing the queen, was raised.

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