When Tyranny Becomes Law Rebellion Becomes Duty SVG

When Tyranny Becomes Law, Rebellion Becomes Duty: Understanding the Symbolism Behind the SVG


The phrase “When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty” has been immortalized in the form of a powerful symbol known as the SVG (St. Vincent and the Grenadines). This iconic emblem represents the struggle against oppression and the inherent duty of the people to rise against it. In this article, we will delve into the history, symbolism, and significance of the SVG, shedding light on its meaning and the message it conveys. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions to provide a comprehensive understanding of this powerful symbol.

History and Background

The SVG has its origins in the turbulent history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a Caribbean nation that has faced its share of oppression and struggle. The phrase “When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty” was first coined by Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. It encapsulates the notion that when a government becomes tyrannical, it is the duty of the people to rebel against it.

The SVG emblem was designed by the renowned Vincentian artist, Calvert Jones, in the late 1990s. Jones aimed to create a symbol that would serve as a constant reminder to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines about the importance of vigilance against tyranny. The emblem was officially adopted by the government and has since become a symbol of resistance and the fight for justice.

Symbolism and Meaning

The SVG consists of three main elements: a clenched fist, a broken chain, and the phrase “When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.” Each component carries a profound symbolism that contributes to the overall message of the emblem.

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1. The Clenched Fist: The clenched fist is a universally recognized symbol of power and resistance. It represents the unity and determination of the people in the face of oppression. It signifies that the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will not be silenced and will fight for their rights.

2. The Broken Chain: The broken chain serves as a powerful metaphor for liberation from the shackles of tyranny. It symbolizes the triumph over oppression and the breaking of the chains that have held the people captive. It embodies the belief that no matter how powerful the oppressor may be, the spirit of resistance will prevail.

3. The Phrase: “When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty” is the core message of the SVG. It reinforces the idea that when a government becomes oppressive and unjust, it is the duty of the people to rise against it. It underscores the importance of questioning authority and fighting for freedom and justice.


Q1: Is the SVG emblem only relevant to St. Vincent and the Grenadines?
A1: While the SVG was designed specifically for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, its message resonates universally. It serves as a reminder to all people that they have a duty to resist tyranny and fight for their rights.

Q2: Is rebellion the only solution to tyranny?
A2: Rebellion should be seen as a last resort when all peaceful means of resistance have been exhausted. It is important to explore peaceful avenues, such as protest, advocacy, and legal action, before resorting to rebellion.

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Q3: How can the SVG emblem inspire change?
A3: The SVG emblem serves as a rallying cry and a symbol of unity. It inspires people to question authority, stand up against injustice, and fight for a better future. It reminds individuals of their duty to protect freedom and human rights.

Q4: Does rebellion always lead to positive outcomes?
A4: Rebellion can have both positive and negative outcomes. It is essential to approach rebellion with a clear vision and a commitment to peaceful and just solutions. History has shown that successful rebellions often lead to positive societal transformations.


The SVG emblem stands as a powerful symbol of resistance against tyranny and the duty of the people to rebel against oppressive governments. Its design and the symbolism it carries serve as constant reminders of the importance of vigilance, unity, and the fight for justice. Whether in St. Vincent and the Grenadines or beyond, the SVG inspires individuals to question authority, challenge oppression, and strive for a better world where freedom and justice prevail.