Vessels sailing under the Barbados country flag are required to have on board this flag as part of flag state requirements that derive from maritime regulations in the International Code of Signals and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. These codes are published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as an ongoing effort to reinforce maritime safety procedures and communications to the international maritime community. Fleet management companies and ship owners are responsible to ensure that each vessel in their respective fleets have the appropriate flag signage onboard to be in compliance. This flag is used to identify the flag state a vessel is sailing under and to communicate with other vessels under the provisions of the International Code of Signals.
The national flag of Barbados is a testament to its people, its heritage and its culture. It consists of a triband of two bands of bright ultramarine blue, which represent the ocean, separated by a golden middle band, representing the great island of Barbados. A black trident head, also known as the broken trident is inside the golden band. This trident symbol is from Barbados' colonial badge, where the trident is shown with Britannia holding it, hearkening to its history with Britain. The lower part of the flag represents a symbolic break from its status of as a colony, and the three points of the trident represent the three principles of democracy: government of, for and by the people. The design for the flag was created by Grantley W. Prescod and was chosen as part of an open competition by the Barbados government, and became the official flag of Barbados the 30th of November in 1966.