Brief History of Samoa
Samoa is an independent nation located in the Pacific Ocean’s Polynesian region. It is an archipelago with the two main islands of Upolu and Savai'i. The islands here were settled by the Lapita people about 3,500 years back. The Europeans first came in contact with the islands of Samoa in the 18th century when a Dutch explorer sighted the islands in 1722. After the 1830’s, traders and Christian missionaries started arriving on the islands. With the establishment of cocoa and copra trade in Samoa, the islands started attracting many foreign traders. Soon, America, Britain, and Germany started fighting with each other over control of Samoa. After years of fighting, they came to an agreement whereby Samoa was controlled partly by Germany and partly by America. Later, Samoa came under the rule of New Zealand which lasted from the First World War until 1962. After years of struggle for independence by the people of Samoa, the archipelago became an independent nation on January 1, 1960.
History of the Flag of Samoa
For a while in history, the flags of the various colonial powers were in use in Samoa. During the rule of the German Empire, a tricolor flag of black-white-red featuring the Imperial Eagle was in use in Samoa. A different flag was used during the colonial rule by New Zealand. It was a defaced Blue Ensign with the image of three palm trees on the fly side. The flag that is used today in Samoa was first adopted on February 24, 1949. It was formally accepted as the national flag of Samoa on January 1, 1962.
Design of Samoa’s Flag
The flag of Samoa is rectangular in shape and red in color. The upper quadrant of the flag towards the hoist-side features a blue rectangle or canton. This canton bears the Southern Cross which consists of four five-pointed stars and a smaller one. The stars are all white in color.
Meaning of the Colors and Symbols of the Flag of Samoa
The colors used in Samoa’s flag have their own symbolic meanings. The white color of the stars represents purity. The red and the blue colors of the flag denote loyalty and patriotism, respectively. The pattern of the stars on the blue canton represent the Southern Cross constellation.