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Oceanic Flags 1
A penguin enjoying a swim - but is he the symbol of an Oceanic nation?

Oceanic Flags 1

The continent of Oceania has four regions; Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. It is the smallest continent in terms of area, and the second smallest in terms of population (only Antarctica has less residents). Just over 39 million people live in Oceania; that's half the population of Germany, a country less than 5% the size of Oceania! Of these 39 million people, just over half live in one country: Australia. The vast majority of jurisdictions in Oceania have comparatively small areas and populations.

Find out more about some of those lesser known places by playing this quiz about a selection of the flags which are used in Oceania.

This flag represents the only remaining British Overseas Territory in the Pacific Ocean. It has only 56 inhabitants, making it the least populated of all the national jurisdictions.
Cook Islands
Pitcairn Islands
The 56 residents of the Pitcairn Islands are all descended from the crew of HMS Bounty who mutinied in 1790 and settled the island. The wreck of the ship can still be seen in Bounty Bay where it sank after it was set alight by the mutineers
This flag represents which country, formerly called the New Hebrides? Its capital is Port Vila.
New Caledonia
Papua New Guinea
The New Hebrides was jointly managed by the British and the French prior to its independence in 1980. The name Vanuatu translates into English as "Home Stand" which symbolises the nation's new found independence
This is the flag of Guam (as can be seen from the name written in its centre!) but of which foreign country is Guam a territory?
Guam used to be a Spanish territory before the Americans took control in 1898. It was invaded by the Japanese in 1941 on the same day that Pearl Harbour was attacked, but recaptured by US troops in 1944
This is the flag of which country?
New Zealand
New Caledonia
There has been much debate in Australia over the national flag. Many Australians would like a new flag which does not bear the British Union Jack, since the country gained its independence from the UK many decades ago. A recent poll showed that 29% of Australians were in favour of a new design, whilst 66% were happy to keep the current flag
This is the flag of which American Territory? It consists of 15 islands, two of which are inhabited, and its capital is the largest island, Saipan.
Northern Mariana Islands
Solomon Islands
Cook Islands
Marshall Islands
The grey symbol behind the white star in the centre of the flag is a latte stone, which has come to symbolise the Chamorro people who are native to the islands.
In four separate referenda the people of Northern Mariana Islands have voted to join the neighbouring country Guam. The people of Guam have not agreed to this however, so instead the Northern Mariana Islands have sought closer integration with the USA
This is the flag of which French Overseas Territory whose capital city is Mata-Utu.
French Polynesia
Wallis and Futuna
The territory is divided between two island groups; the Wallis Islands to the northeast and the Futuna or Hoorn Islands to the southwest. Together the islands have a population of 15,500 - that's slightly less than the town of Ripon in Yorkshire
Which island nation does this flag represent?
Solomon Islands
Marshall Islands
Fiji contains more than 800 islands and islets, of which 110 are inhabited. Almost 90% of Fijians live on just two of the islands; Viti Levu and Vanua Levu
Which self-governing Australian territory is represented by this flag? It was discovered by the British sailor, Captain James Cook, in 1774.
Cook Islands
Norfolk Island
The British originally used Norfolk Island as a penal colony, but from 1856 it was colonised by civilians. The flag of Norfolk Island shows a native Norfolk Island pine, one of the island's main exports
Which island nation does this flag represent? It is a confederation of over 600 islands and it became independent from America in 1986.
Cook Islands
American Samoa
The official name of the country is the Federated States of Micronesia. Whilst it has a comparatively small land area of just 271 square miles (702 square km), FS Micronesia covers more than 1 million square miles (2.6 million square km) of the Indian Ocean
This is the flag of New Zealand, but which flightless bird has come to symbolise the country?
Due to its isolated location New Zealand developed many unique species. As there were no predatory mammals present many New Zealand birds, such as the kiwi, had no need for their power of flight and so lost it. With the arrival of humans and the introduction of rats, many bird species, unable to fly away from these new predators, became extinct (though thankfully not the kiwi).


Author:  Graeme Haw

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