Northern Marianas Islands Flag
History of the Northern Mariana Islands Flag
The Northern Mariana Islands Flag is dark blue and consists of three symbols which are a star, a latte stone, and a decorative wreath (which is also known as a mwarmwar). The star represents the USA, the latte stone represents the Chamorros, and the wreath represents the Carolinians. The color blue is used to represent the Ocean. The Northern Mariana Islands flag was adopted on July 1st, 1985.
The Northern Mariana Islands are a string of islands (or archipelago) that are located in the North Pacific Ocean and are bordered by Taiwan, Japan, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Indonesia, Guam, Papa New Guinea, and the Philippines. The capital is the island of Saipan. The Northern Mariana Islands are a commonwealth of the USA which means that the USA supports the country and provides military protection for it. The Northern islands mainly consist of volcanos, some of which are still active, and the southern islands are made of limestone. The most Southern island and largest, is the island of Guam.
It is thought that the first people to settle the island were the Chamorros who arrived between 4,000-2,000 B.C. The first European to arrive to the islands was Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, who arrived on the island of Guam in 1521. Ferdinand Magellan then proceeded to claim the islands for Spain. Three days after arriving on the island, Magellan left following a clash with the native Chamorros, as they took his boat. Magellan did not understand the culture and their beliefs that little property of the natives was actually private and if someone took something that they needed, for example, a boat to go fishing etc. then it was not considered as stealing.
The Spanish fought with the Chamorros until they retrieved the boat and Ferdinand Magellan referred to the islands as "Las Islas de Los Ladrones" which translates as "The islands of the thieves." The Spanish, following Magellan's visit, made the islands theirs and in 1565, they became part of the Spanish West Indies and in 1668, their name was changed from the islands of the thieves to "Las Marianas" which was after Queen Mariana, who was the mother of Charles II of Spain. Over the years, the population began to decrease as the majority of natives (approximately 90%-95%) had either died or married non-Chamorro occupiers. To repopulate the country, settlers from the Philippines and Caroline Islands (Carolinians) were brought to the islands.
In 1898, following the Spanish-American war, Spain surrendered Guam to the USA and sold the remaining islands of the Marianas, including the Caroline Islands, to Germany. Germany then made the islands part of the colony, German New Guinea. In 1919, after Japan invaded the Norther Marianas and declared war on Germany, and as a result of their victory, all of the islands were given to Japan. During the period that the Northern Mariana Islands were under Japanese ruling, a large amount of Japanese migrated here. During WWII, the islands were a major battling point between Japan and USA and following Japan’s defeat, the Northern Mariana Islands would then be administered by the USA.
Northern Mariana Islands National Anthem
Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi
In the middle of the sea
Is where my home is
That is where I will spend my days
It is my desire
If I ever leave this place
One day I will return
For I can never leave you
O land of mine
A thousand times and more
I will honor and salute you
Beautiful islands of the Marianas
Glory be to you