In December 2013 I've been to Antigua. Before arriving there I read about the island and found a reference to a law that states:

Local laws and customs


It is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.

The source seems qualified (gov.uk). One user review in TripAdvisor confirms this story, but also mentions that "they are going to look into changing this law because of the world wide fashion trend for such garments". A similar law is also effective in Barbados.

Last year I could not confirm if this law has been revoked or not, but anyway why is (or was) it forbidden to wear camofulage in Antigua and Barbados? Is it just a coincidence that both islands were English colonies? Is this unusual (in my opinion) law effective in other countries too?

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    My boyfriend's 15 year old son with special needs have to wear sunglasses or else he can't see. They docked at Barbuda yesterday from a cruise ship and he had no idea. His son's sunglasses have a bit of camouflage print on the ear pieces. A law enforcement guy came up to them and told them to remove them and when Jon told him that he would be blind without them he told him he would arrest the 15 year old if he didn't. Jon told him go ahead and see what happens. Guy got on his walkie talkie and then immediately walked back to the ship before he got back to them.
    – Susan
    Dec 9, 2017 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


The law's genesis seems to be to keep the military identifiably military and everyone else civilian.

As reported by Theresa Gordon of the Antigua Daily Observer, on July 23, 2013:

Anyone caught wearing or selling military-type camouflage clothing will be arrested.

The get-tough stance was announced by Staff Judge Advocate of the Antigua & Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF) Orlando Michael.

Michael said the ABDF would be working along with the police to enforce this provision within the law which appears to be ignored by many.

He said the move is very critical and comes at at time when numerous victims of crime have reported being attacked by individuals dressed in camouflage attire.

“Military officers will be engaged in crime prevention along with the police and we don’t want anyone to mistake a civilian for a milliary person,” Michael told state television yesterday. “This may cause persons to drop their guard.

“Once we see persons who are misrepresenting the military in any attire, the full force of the law will be applied,” Michael added.

According to the Defence Act 2006, it is an offence to wear, “without authority, any uniform or part thereof, or any article of clothing made from any disruptive pattern materials used for making the military uniform commonly called the camouflage uniform, or from any other material so nearly resembling any of those materials as it is likely to deceive.”

The law also restricts the wearing of any uniform or part thereof worn by any military organisation of any other country.

Another piece of legislation addressing the wearing and sale of such clothing is the Military Uniforms Act of 1997.

It states, “No person shall import, trade, sell or deal in military uniforms or decorations except with the approval of the minister.”

Any person who commits an offence under this section is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of $2,000 or to imprisonment for one year.

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    That seems a very strict law. There's a user review in TripAdvisor(tripadvisor.co.za/…) where a user say that someone from his flight had his whole suitcase confiscated because it had a camouflage design!
    – gmauch
    Jan 3, 2015 at 12:57

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