Alwyn Bully – designer of Dominica’s National Flag

Alwyn Bully

Today is Flag Day in Dominica.

The flag was designed by Cultural Icon Alwyn Bully.

ALWIN BULLY is an artist, playwright, short story writer and Cultural Administrator from the Commonwealth of Dominica where he established and developed the Department of Culture and was its first Director.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters Degree from his alma mater.

He was resident in Jamaica for over 20 years, where he worked as UNESCO’s Caribbean Culture Advisor in which capacity he managed the production of a six-volume History of Caribbean and inter-acted with Cultural Departments in all of CARICOM countries, assisting them in developing programs and policies.

He was also Chairman of The CARIFESTA Interim Festival Directorate – a regional Advisory Body to CARIFESTA. This Committee reviewed CARIFESTA with a view to enhancing the festival and increasing its visibility internationally.

On his return to Dominica in 2008, he was appointed Cultural Advisor to the Minister of Culture, a post he held for two years.

He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the National Cultural Council, which oversees the implementation of projects and programs of the Cultural Division in Dominica; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Dominica Festivals Committee.

Bully has written ten full-length plays, four radio serials, numerous short stories and four screenplays.

One of his screenplays Oseyi and the Masqueraders was selected to be produced by The Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA) of New York and was shot in Dominica in 2017.

The film premiered at the 2018 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF) and was up for the People’s Choice Award. It is to be premiered in Dominica towards the end of the year. His radio play “A Dance in the Dark” was selected for broadcast by the BBC in 1980.

His early comedy, “Good Morning Miss Millie” (1968), was published by Penguin Books and Macmillan Caribbean and one of its speeches appeared in Actors’ Audition Speeches edited by Jean Marlow for A&C Black/Heineman.

The Ruler his stage adaptation of the novel “Ruler in Hiroona” by GCH Thomas, was selected for publication in five languages by L’Autre Souffle Company, France.

His short stories have appeared in THE CARIBBEAN WRITER (University of the U.S. Virgin Islands), BIM Literary Magazine, and “IRON BALLOONS” an anthology by Akashic books edited by Collin Channer.

He has won several awards for his theatre work from the International Theatre Institute (Jamaica Centre) as well as a Golden Drum Award from the National Cultural Council 1997; The University of Technology’s 2006 Arts Award; A Life-time Achievement Cacique Award from The National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago 2007.

He also received The Sisserou Award of Honor from the Government of Dominica for his design of the Dominica Flag in 1985; and The UWI Alumni Award for Excellence in 2008.


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  1. DA Fails
    October 17, 2018

    In my opinion DA has one of the best flags in the world, my only qualm is the big parrot in the center

    • Katrina
      January 14, 2020

      You can say that again!!!! I say this all the time, DA flag is pretty it stands out from the rest!

  2. Child of Itassi
    October 16, 2018

    Congratulations and thanks to Alwyn and his wife Anita.
    Quiz: The parrot was originally looking away from the pole. Does anyone know when and why it was turned around to face the pole?

  3. Food for thought
    October 16, 2018

    I think the flag of Dominica is beautiful however, someone once told me some years ago that flags are supposed to be simple enough for any one in the country (who is capable) to draw. It belongs to all of the country’s inhabitants. That is why most flags are very simple. Example, just lines, circles, stars, sun etc. Things everyone for the most part can draw. Therefore, the parrot part of our flag makes it a little complicated. In all honesty, I could never ever draw my flag, or Haiti’s flag which is also complicated. I can certainly draw Japan, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Nigeria etc.

    • Zeeva
      October 6, 2019

      What’s your point really? Our flag is unique and thank God it is.

  4. d-a born
    October 16, 2018

    He’s accomplished and talented, congrats.

    I also think that flag should’ve been a bit simpler in design.

  5. Chaplain Cadet Corps
    October 16, 2018

    I am delighted I had the privilege to participate in the first Flag Day Motorcade and traverse our Nature Isle. Thanks to the Cultural Division for giving birth to this idea. What was even more spectacular was the involvement of the all the SCHOOLS participating with great enthusiasm. I was especially impressed with the St Mary’s Primary Students and Teachers wearing the Colours of the Flag. Both Portsmouth and Marigot also need special mention for their special display for carrying our National Flag with such pride. Thanks a million Alwin Bully, Phd. We are grateful that God has blessed us with you.

  6. Joseph John
    October 15, 2018

    Life is so strange…It is good to congratulate Mr Bully for the design of the Dominica flag, and his many contribution to the socio-cultural development. He deserve the recognition.
    But what about the first P M, Patrick John. Without Mr John effort there would be no flag, no independence day…… nothing.

    • Africo
      October 16, 2018

      Joseph John. First Prime Minister Patrick John has already been honoured with the higest award that the country can give. His actions during the early 1980s tainted his reputation. But in fairness, what more recognition would you suggest?

  7. October 15, 2018

    Glad to know that he did all of those, especially he is a man from Giraudel. When I was in Dominica in 2008, his parents’ house was still standing in the spot where it was grounded. He is the one who put our Giraudel Jing-ping group in pictures and on the news sites.

    So, people, you cannot say that nothing comes from Giraudel eh! :lol: :lol: :lol:

  8. just me
    October 15, 2018

    Congratulations Mr Bully. its quite a shame though to see the Chinese making their own version of our beautiful flag and an even bigger shame that our people are buying these fake flags. people get to know your flag and quit buying the fake Chinese flag. DNO is it possible to put a picture or our real flag so that readers/viewers who don’t know the difference can get to know?

    • Flag waver
      October 16, 2018

      Good point. But beautiful as it is, one of the drawbacks of our flag is that if it is printed properly it would have to have a total of eight colours and this makes it very expensive to produce. Most national flags have no more than four colours. For instance we are the only national flag in the world that has the colour purple in it.

      The flag shown by DNO here is indeed an abreviated one. The stars should be “lime green” with green borders. The breast of the parrot should be deep purple and different from the head. Commercial printers of Dominica flags such as the one depicted on this page have made short cuts, hence we get all sorts of variations. Simple flags like Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines or Trinidad or Jamaica are much easier to produce properly. Other national flags that have birds on them usually print them in one colour silhouette. Dominica always extra! But we like it so and congratulations to Alwin.

  9. sadness
    October 15, 2018

    congratulations mr Bully. its quite a shame though to see that today the Chinese are changing your good work of the flag design and color to their own. its a bigger shame to see our people buying the fake flags. My people get to know your flag and quit buying the fake ones. DNO please up a picture of a flag so that people can look and see what the real and correct flag looks like. thank you.

  10. Vanessa De Rycker
    October 15, 2018

    How wonderful to celebrate the achievements and contribution to Dominica that Alwyn Bully has made. I remember meeting him and his family in the late 1970s when I visited Dominica with my mother and stayed with Charles Bully, Alwyn’s father. My mother, Bee Watt was in Dominica in 1939 her stay extended by the outbreak of WW2. The Bully family was an important element in her time in Dominica. I have visited Dominica twice after my first 1978 visit when I spent time there with my husband and daughter to carry on our family links with the island and its people.

  11. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    October 15, 2018

    Alwin..Congratulations on your many achievements

  12. hmmmmmmmmmmmm
    October 15, 2018

    what I learnt in school about the dominica flag in the 80s is not what im hearing on DBS lately, both cant be right. was the meaning wrong THEN or NOW

    • Flag waver
      October 16, 2018

      You are correct in that the description of the flag today is not the one that was issued in the programme on the night of independence. It has been changed here and there over the years. There is an Emblems Committee which is responsible for such things. For instance, in 1978 the central red circle was described as “The central red emblem carries the connotation of socialism.” That has been changed. Maybe because the “connotation of socialism” fell out of fashion.! Who knows?

  13. oliver2
    October 15, 2018

    A very accomplished and distinguished Dominocan…very proud of you, Sir.

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