History of the Cyprus Flag
The Cyprus flag features a white background with the map of the country emblazoned in and orange/copper color with two olive branches below the map. The color white symbolizes peace, while the orange/copper color represents the copper that was found in Cyprus (also where the name originates from) and the two olive branches are used to show the peace between Cyprus and Turkey.
Those colors were used on the Cyprus flag to symbolize the harmony that now exists in the nation. The Cyprus flag was adopted on August 16th, 1960, when it became an independent nation and was no longer under British rule. Before that flag, the flags of Greece and Turkey were used in the country. In 1960, a competition was held to design the Cyprus Flag. The flag could not use the colors of the Greek or Turkish flag (blue and red) and it was not permitted to use a cross or a crescent on the flag like the Turkish flag. The winning flag was designed by Ismet Guney, who was a Turkish Cypriot teacher. This Cyprus flag is used in South Cyprus by the Greek Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriots use a different design called the "Flag of Northern Cyprus," which consists of two horizontal red banners with a red crescent and star between them on a white background. The Cyprus flag is one of two countries (the other being Korea) that uses the map of the country on the flag.
From 1570, Cyprus was a part of the Ottoman Empire until 1878, when it was given to the British as a Protectorate in exchange for military protection from Russia. Initially, when the country came under British control, the citizens was pleased as they thought it would benefit them. They soon found out that it did not as the British began to face a political problem when the Cypriots wanted to form a union with Greece (Enosis). In 1915, the British did offer Cyprus to Greece in exchange for military support during World War I, which was refused by the Greeks. In 1925, Cyprus became part of the British colony until 1960, despite their attempts to gain independence. In 1931, this tension caused many riots and in 1955, the EOKA was formed (National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters) who fought and struggled to end the British rule in Cyprus and for union with Greece. During this battle from 1955-1959, approximately 156 British and 148 Cypriots lost their lives. On February 19th, 1959, the London and Zurich agreement began the process for Cyprus independence.
Cyprus is an island country located in the Eastern Mediterranean and is the third largest island in the world. Its neighboring countries are Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and Greece. The largest city and the capital of Cyprus is Nicosia. Nicosia is home to the "Green Line" which divides the two nations: "Independent Republic of Cyprus" and the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," and is the only capital city in the world that has a division such as this.
Cyprus' economy relies on its thriving tourism industry. The country has many beautiful historic sights to visit and boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. Cyprus is also referred to as "The Playground of the Gods," as it is believed that the Goddess, "Aphrodite" rose out of the water and Aphrodite's rock is now one of the many popular tourist attractions to visit.