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Flag of Tuvalu

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State flag of Tuvalu

The current flag of Tuvalu was instated when the country became independent in 1978, after the separation from the Gilbert Islands in 1976.


Like many former and current British dependencies, the Tuvaluan flag is a blue ensign based on the Union Flag, which is shown in the upper left canton of the flag; however, the field is a unique shade of light blue not seen on other blue ensigns. The previous flag (with the Gilberts) was also based on the Union Flag but with the coat of arms created by Sir Arthur Grimble in 1932, the resident commissioner of the British colony.

The stars represent the nine islands which comprise Tuvalu; the arrangement is geographically correct, with the east towards the top (i.e. north to the left).

Tuvalu is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Samoa and Fiji. It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls. Its population of 11,992 makes it the third-least-populated independent country in the world, with only Vatican City and Nauru having fewer inhabitants. It is also the second-smallest member by population of the United Nations. In terms of physical land size, at just 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi), Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, larger only than the Vatican City—0.44 km²; Monaco—1.95 km² and Nauru—21 km².

The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesian people. The islands came within the British Empire's sphere of influence in the late 19th century. The Ellice Islands were administered by Britain as part of a protectorate from 1892 to 1916 and as part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony from 1916 to 1974. In 1974 the Ellice Islanders voted for separate British dependency status as Tuvalu, separating from the Gilbert Islands which became Kiribati upon independence. Tuvalu became a dominion in 1978.

Each star in the flag represents one island in the country

Changes and controversies

The name "Tuvalu" means "eight together", referring to the eight islands which were inhabited. In October 1995 one of the stars on the flag was removed to conform with the country's name. By January 1996 the flag was replaced with a new one which was not based on the British flag, but the eight stars were retained. This flag, however, was not liked by the inhabitants, who felt that it was a move towards replacing the popular Tuvaluan monarchy with a republic. The old flag was re-instated in 1997, with all nine stars being restored. Population pressures have since resulted in the ninth island being settled.[1]

Historical flags

See also


External links

ar:علم توفالو

az:Tuvalu bayrağı bs:Zastava Tuvalua cs:Vlajka Tuvalu de:Flagge Tuvalus et:Tuvalu lipp el:Σημαία του Τουβαλού es:Bandera de Tuvalu eo:Flago de Tuvalo fr:Drapeau des Tuvalu ko:투발루의 국기 hi:टुवालू का ध्वज hr:Zastava Tuvalua bpy:টুভালুর ফিরালহান id:Bendera Tuvalu it:Bandiera delle Tuvalu he:דגל טובאלו lt:Tuvalu vėliava hu:Tuvalu zászlaja mk:Знаме на Тувалу nl:Vlag van Tuvalu ja:ツバルの国旗 no:Tuvalus flagg tpi:Plak bilong Tuvalu pl:Flaga Tuvalu pt:Bandeira do Tuvalu ru:Флаг Тувалу sk:Vlajka Tuvalu sr:Застава Тувалуа sh:Zastava Tuvalua fi:Tuvalun lippu sv:Tuvalus flagga th:ธงชาติตูวาลู tr:Tuvalu bayrağı uk:Прапор Тувалу yo:Flag of Tuvalu zh:图瓦卢国旗

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