A Brief History of the Solomon Islands
Six large islands and hundreds of smaller ones together comprise the archipelago of the Solomon Islands. It is a sovereign nation that is located in the Pacific Ocean to the east of Papua New Guinea. Humans have lived on these islands for thousands of years. The first European landed on the Solomon Islands in 1568. The Europeans soon started arriving on the islands of the archipelago. In 1893, the islands became a British protectorate. In 1975, the islands ceased to be part of a British Protectorate and in 1976, the archipelago became self-governing and two years later, it attained complete independence. However, the country is a constitutional monarchy today and Queen Elizabeth II of England acts as the head of state of the Solomon Islands.
History of the Flag of the Solomon Islands
During the period when the Solomon Islands was a British Protectorate, the Union Jack and the Red Ensign were in use in the archipelago. The Blue Ensign was also used but it bore the name of the protectorate and the crown of the monarch. However, when the country became independent, the use of the symbols of the United Kingdom was discontinued. Just prior to independence, a contest was held in 1975 to design a new flag for the country. On November 18, 1977, a flag was selected to serve as the new flag of the Solomon Islands.
Design of the Flag
A narrow yellow stripe runs diagonally from the corner of the lower hoist-side of the flag to the upper corner of the flag’s fly-side. Thus, two triangles lie on either side of the yellow stripe. The upper triangle has a blue color while the lower one is green. The blue triangle has five starts with five points and white color. The stars are arranged in the pattern of an ‘X’.
Colors and Symbols of the Flag
Each of the colors and symbols used in the flag of the Solomon Islands is associated with a specific meaning. The green color in the flag is a symbol of the land and the crops and trees growing on it. The blue color represents water, the source of life. It stands for the Pacific Ocean, the rivers, and the rain that are all essential to sustaining lives on the islands. The yellow color of the stripe symbolizes the sun separating the ocean and the land similar to the sunrise or sunset. The stars present in the flag were originally used to symbolize the five provinces of the nation that were formed after independence. However, since then other provinces have also been created but no extra stars have been added to the flag.