Editor, Daily Nexus,
I am writing in regards to the photograph of the flag pictured during Damian Marley’s performance at Harder Stadium (“Fans Flock to UCSB’s Extravaganza,” Daily Nexus, May 16). The caption refers to it as “the Jamaican flag”; however, the official Jamaican flag displays a gold “X” with green triangles on the top and bottom, and black triangles on each side. It did not come into use until Jamaica’s Independence Day, Aug. 6, 1962.
The flag in the photograph depicts the Lion of Judah, which represents Ras Tafari, or Haile Selassie I. Rastafarians believe this man fulfilled the prophecy in 1930 when he was crowned emperor of Ethiopia, with the throne name Haile Selassie I. The background colors – red, yellow and green – represent, among other possibilities, the Church Triumphant, the wealth of the homeland and the natural beauty of Ethiopia, respectively. If Americans wish to adopt elements of Jamaican culture, such as reggae music and Rastafarian symbolism, we should make sure our understandings are accurate, especially considering Jamaica’s history as an imperial colony.