History of the Nauru Flag
The Nauru Flag consists of a blue field with a gold horizontal strip across the middle of it. In the bottom left hand corner of the flag is a 12-pointed white star. The blue color of the flag represents the Pacific Ocean and the gold stripe represents the equator. The position of the white 12-pointed star represents Nauru’s position below the equator and the white color represents the country’s phosphate which is the only major natural resource that the country has. The 12 points of the star represent the 12 original tribes of the island, which are, Eamwit, Eamwitmwit, Ranibok, Irutsi, Iruwa, Eamwidara, Eaoru, Emangum, Deiboe, Eano, Emea, and Iwi. The Nauru flag was adopted on January 31st, 1968 as a result of a competition that was held.
Nauru is the world's smallest island country (as well as the world's smallest independent republic) in the South Pacific Ocean. It does not share borders with any other countries, but its neighboring countries include, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Tuvali, Vanuatu, and Papa New Guinea. It is one of the only countries that does not have an official capital city but the largest settlement where the majority of the administration occurs is in Yaren. Nauru is the least populated country in the world, following Vatican City. The island was first discovered in 1798 by a whale hunter named John Fearn. He referred to the country as the "pleasant island."
It is thought that Nauru was first occupied over 3,000 years ago by Micronesians and Polynesians. In 1888, Nauru became Germany's Marshall Islands Protectorate. In 1914, during WWI, the island was captured by the Australian army and in 1919, the administration of the island was controlled by the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand governments. On August 26th, 1942, during WWII, the island was occupied by Japan until it was set free on September 13th, 1945 when it was given to the Australian Navy and army. In 1947, the island once again came under the protection of the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. In January 1966, Nauru became self-governing and achieved independence in 1968.
The major resource of Nauru is phosphate, which was first discovered on the island in 1900 by Albert Fuller Ellis. During the 1980s, the island was considered to be one of the richest nations in the world due to the phosphate reserves, export, and trade. In the 1990s, the phosphate began to run out and in 2017, it was declared to be one of the poorest nations in the world as it was so heavily reliant on the phosphate mining. Nauru only attracts approximately 200 tourists a year, making it one of the least visited countries in the world and tourism does not contribute at all to its poor economy.