Bermuda Post

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2020

Jamaica's Governor-General suspends use of royal insignia over 'offending image'

UK petition for image on Order of St Michael & St George to be redesigned passes 13,000 signatures

On the heels of criticisms that the image on one of Britain’s highest honours, Order of St Michael and St George, is reminiscent of the May 25, 2020, killing of George P. Floyd Jr by white police officers in the US that led to worldwide protests, Jamaica's governor-general has announced he will no longer wear the royal insignia.

Governor-General Patrick L. Allen, the British monarchy's representative in Jamaica, made the announcement on Friday, June 26, 2020.

Allen said he is suspending the personal use of the insignia of the Order of St Michael and St George because of its offensive implications, according to a statement on the governor-general's website.

The insignia has the illustration of St Michael and Satan on one of its sides, according to the British royal family's website.

According to CNN today, June 28, 2020, the image posted to the governor-general's website and highlighted by Allen shows Satan as a dark-skinned man under the foot of a White archangel and has recently caused anger in Jamaica.


Image should reflect ‘shared humanity of all peoples’

In his statement, Allen said the suspension follows his acknowledgment of concerns raised by "citizens over the image on the medal, and the growing global rejection of the use of objects that normalise the continued degradation of people of colour."

Allen, according to CNN, sent a letter to the Chancellor of the Order of St Michael and St George requesting a revision of the image, recommending that it be "changed to reflect an inclusive image of the shared humanity of all peoples," the statement says.

CNN said it has reached out to the palace press office for comment, but has not yet received a response.

The Order of St Michael and St George is traditionally awarded to ambassadors and diplomats and senior Foreign Office officials who have served abroad. It has three ranks, the highest of which is Knight Grand Cross (GCMG), followed by Knight Commander (KCMG) and Companion (CMG).


Petition for image redesign gets over 13,000 signatures

Meanwhile, a petition in the United Kingdom (UK) calling for the medal to be redesigned had attracted 13,054 of the 15,000 signatures being asked for on change.org as of 12:00pm on June 28, 2020.

According to the creator of the petition, Tracy Reeve, “This is a highly offensive image, it is also reminiscent of the recent murder of George Floyd by the white policeman in the same manner presented here in this medal. We the undersigned are calling for this medal to completely redesigned in a more appropriate way and for an official apology to be given for the offence it has given.”

Many prominent UK citizens have supported the call.

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