KINGSTON, Jamaica – Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen, has expressed concern about one of the ceremonial medals of his office – the British insignia – the Order of St. Michael and St. George.
The medal, that is worn by the head of state, depicts a white man – said to be a triumphant archangel, with his foot on the neck of a black man who is deemed to be Satan.
The medal has traditionally been bestowed and worn by Governors-General across the Commonwealth, who have been knighted by the Queen.
However, recently, the insignia has been compared to the killing of George Floyd, the African-American man who was killed in the United States by a white police officer who placed a knee on his neck.
In response to concerns, Sir Patrick, in a statement on Wednesday said he “acknowledges and welcomes the concerns expressed by our citizens and the negative emotions that the image has caused.”
He also sought to assure fellow Jamaicans that the necessary requests will be made for a revision of the image to the Lord Chancellor of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.
The order, that is over 200 years old, was founded on April 28, 1818 and named in honour of two military saints, St Michael and St George.
It is is awarded to men and women who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country.
The order is also conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs.