Kiribati is the only state in the world that is located on all hemispheres at once. Today’s flag of the republic is an exact copy of its coat of arms. However, it was approved later – when the country gained its independence.
This is what the modern flag of Kiribati looks like:
History of the flag
- Before 1937, Kiribati used the flag of the British colony.
- From 1937 to 1974, the coat of arms of the islands is added to the depiction of British symbols on the blue cloth.
- In late 1974, Ellis Island is separated from Gilbert. The only difference from the modern banner is the white outline and white motto ribbon.
- On July 12, 1979, independence was declared in the capital of Kiribati and the flag was raised for the first time. This version of the flag is still in use today.
Before independence, the republic of Kiribati was called the Gilbert Islands.
The rectangular canvas is divided into two parts: the upper one is red and the lower one shows white and blue waves. In the center is the silhouette of the rising sun with 17 rays. Above the celestial body hovers a golden frigate.
Four colors are used on the canvas. The flag has an unfortunate color scheme: the elements merge and the image does not look clear. But if we evaluate the whole composition from the artistic point of view, the colors are very harmonious. The red background goes well with the yellow sun and bird, and the blue waves – with the white stripes.
Meaning of colors and flag symbol
Vexillology presents the following interpretations of the elements of the cloth:
- The red background indicates a tropical climate and the close proximity of the islands to the equator.
- The wavy lines on the flags are practically uncommon, because at a great distance they are more likely to merge into a single spot. But here this image was necessary to show the waves of the ocean.
- The white lines are all the islands of Kiribati.
- The sun is a landmark on the ground.
- The seventeen rays are the number of atolls in the Gilbert Archipelago and Banaba Island, part of the Republic of Kiribati.
- The bird is a kind of frigate. Seafarers were guided by them: if they met a frigate, it meant they had reached the tropics. On the one hand, it is the embodiment of freedom. On the other hand – the embodiment of strength and fighting spirit of local people.
There is an opinion that the frigate is a schematic representation of the national dance of the republic. The movements of the dancers resemble the flight of a bird.
Interesting facts about the flag
- The modern version of the flag is used not only as a naval flag, but also as a merchant flag.
- The design is by Arthur Francis Grimble, who also wrote the book Sketches of the Islands.
The flag of any state is a historical link with the past. And in Kiribati, the symbolism of the cloth, among other things, is related to the coat of arms, known since the time of the British colonies.
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