Barbadian $20 notes were introduced by the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) in 1973.
The front of Barbadian $20 bills feature a flying fish, the Coat of Arms, a watermark depicting a map of Barbados and the signature of the Governor in office at time of printing. The reverse features a vignette of the historic Parliament buildings and Careenage.
Generally, Barbadian notes differ only in colour, the image appearing in the see-through feature and the portrait displayed on the face of the bill.
Mauve with orange elements, $20 notes bear the image of Samuel Jackman Prescod and feature a pelican in the see-through feature. Newer $20 notes are printed with an electrotype carrying the image of the Pride of Barbados flower.
Barbados is known as the "Land of the Flying Fish". The flying fish is Barbados' official national fish. It appears on Barbadian currency, the national Coat of Arms and the National Tourism Authority logo. Look for the flying fish in local art, statues, fountains and monuments.
Coat of Arms
Conveyed by royal warrant, the Barbados Coat of Arms was presented to the President of the Senate by her Majesty the Queen during a Royal Visit to the island on the 14th of February 1966. This was the same year Barbados gained Independence from Britain. A symbol of strength, pride and integrity, the Coat of Arms was designed by Mr. Neville C. Connell in 1966.
Pride of Barbados
Like the $50 and $100 notes, $20 notes carry a secondary watermark in the image of a Pride of Barbados, the island's national flower. Emblematic of the nation is the red variety with yellow margin along the crinkled edges of the petals. A common sight on the island, its blooms are present all year round in a glorious array of reds and yellows. The Pride of Barbados is also featured prominently on Barbados Coat of Arms.
Samuel Jackman Prescod
$20 notes carry the image of Samuel Jackman Prescod (1807 - 1871). Prescod also appeared on $5 notes signed by Dr. (now Sir) Courtney Blackman who served as Governor from 1972 to 1987.
A bastard child born to a free coloured woman and a wealthy landowner, Prescod's complexion was white. Nevertheless, he bore the stigma of racial discrimination and was denied access to voting and other legislative rights.
Samuel Jackman Prescod was the first person of African descent to be elected to Barbados' Parliament (1843). A social activist, journalist, editor and politician Prescod is often described as the "greatest Barbadian of all time".
Samuel Jackman Prescod is one of Barbados' 10 National Heroes. He is namesake for the Samuel Jackman Prescod polytechnique. In 2006, a postage stamp commemorated Prescod's efforts to allow coloured people the same voting rights as white people.
The brown pelican - the national bird of Barbados - symbolizes Pelican Island. The island was fused to the mainland during construction of the Deep Water Harbour (1961). Pelican Island was named after the brown pelican which once thrived there in abundance.
Author: Brett Callaghan