The fight against racist or perceived symbols has now also reached the British orders of knights. The Governor-General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen, now refuses to wear the ornaments of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.
He received it in 2009 from Queen Elizabeth. He is head of state of the Caribbean island state, where Allen acts as her representative. The Order depicts the Archangel Michael with Satan under his foot. The devil is depicted as a black man.
Governor-General Allen said in a statement that he decides to address the legitimate concerns of “citizens about the depiction on the insignia and the growing worldwide rejection of the use of objects that normalize the continuing decline of colored people.”
The Governor-General has asked the Chancellor of the London-based Order, which has a chapel in St Paul’s as a spiritual home, to modernize the image to reflect the “shared humanity of all peoples,” said Sir Allen.
The ‘Most Noble Order of St. Michael and St. George’ was founded in 1818 and is used today, among other things, to reward Governors-General, Prime Ministers of Commonwealth countries, and senior diplomats.
Queen Elizabeth is the head of the knighthood, and her cousin, the Duke of Kent, is the grandmaster. Members are not distinguished with the knightly Order, but they are appointed in it.