History of the Kiribati Flag
The Kiribati flag is half red (upper half) and half blue (lower half) with 3 white wavy stripes over the blue section. A 17-ray sun is depicted rising out from the bottom of the red section with a gold frigate bird flying over the sun. The blue and white color represent the Pacific Ocean. The 3 wavy white stripes represent the 3 groups of islands which are: Gilbert, Phoenix, and Line Islands and the 17 rays represent the 16 Kiribati islands and Banaba, which was an ocean island.
The bird on the Kiribati flag represents the strength and command of the sea as well as power and freedom. The Kiribati flag was adopted on July 12th, 1979 after a competition was held for the national flag, following their independence. The flag design used is an "Armorial Banner," meaning the design on the flag is exactly the same as the design on the country's Coat of Arms.
Kiribati is an island country in the Pacific Ocean. The capital of Kiribati is South Tarawa, which is also an island that is located between Australia and Hawaii. Kiribati consists of 33 coral islands that have all been divided between Gilbert Islands, Phoenix Islands, and Line Islands. Only 21 of these islands are actually inhabited. Kiribati is a very low-lying island (the highest point of the island being at only 81m above sea level). It has been predicted that within the next 50 years, due to a rise in the sea level, the island could actually disappear under the sea which is what happened to two of the islands in 1999. As a result of these predictions, Kiribati has bought land from Fiji to be able to relocate their people.
Kiribati used to be known as the Gilbert Islands when it became a British Protectorate in 1892. The Gilbert Islands were named after Captain Thomas Gilbert. In 1979, when they gained independence, the name was changed to Kiribati. Kiribati is one of the most polluted and poorest countries in the world which has very few natural resources.
Kiribati is very reliant on tourism and is always trying to attract tourists. It is home to some very beautiful attractions, which include, Christmas Island (also referred to as Kiritimati Island). Christmas Island is one of the islands amongst the Line Islands and gained its name following its discovery on Christmas Eve and is considered to be one of the best places in the world for bird watching.
Tourists also have the option to go scuba diving, where you can see plenty of shipwrecks from WW II. The things that can be seen on these islands, such as, old tanks, WW II artefacts, and bunkers etc. are the reason the islands are becoming popular. The Fanning islands are the most visited as they are home to plenty of lovely and secluded beaches that can only be reached by boat or sea plane. This is also a popular destination for bird watching even though there are no hotels, shops, restaurants, or cafes.