The National Flag of Cook Islands was officially adopted on August 4, 1979.
The National Flag of Cook Islands features a blue background with the Union Jack (flag of the UK) in the upper hoist-side quadrant and a large circle of 15 white five-pointed stars centered in the outer half of the flag. The blue color of the flag symbolizes the vast Pacific Ocean and the peaceful nature of the island residents. The Union Jack represents the historic ties of the Cook Islands with the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth. The 15 white five-pointed stars represents the fifteen islands in the Cook Islands group. The flag has a width-to-length proportion ratio of 1:2.
The first flag used in the Cook Islands was the flag of the Kingdom of Rarotonga in 1850. This flag had three horizontal stripes of red, white and red along with three blue stars placed on the central white stripe. In 1888, when the islands became a British Protectorate, a Union Jack was added in the canton of the flag. In 1893, the stars were replaced by a badge along with the Union Jack. In 1901, the Cook Islands became a Protectorate under New Zealand and the flag of New Zealand was then used to represent the islands. A contest was organised to select a flag design in 1973. The winning flag had a green background, with 15 golden yellow-colored stars arranged in a circle. This flag was flown for the first time on January 24, 1974. This flag design and colors were further modified and the current flag was adopted on August 4, 1979.
The National Coat of Arms of Cook Islands was designed by Papa Motu Kora – a Mataiapo (traditional chief) from the Matavera village in Rarotonga. The National Coat of Arms comprises of a centrally placed blue shield. On the shield there are a circle of 15 white five pointed stars. This denotes the protection of the people and the country. Supporting the shield on either side is a flying fish (maroro) and a White Tern (kakaia). The white tern supports a cross – symbolizing Christianity and the flying fish supports a Rarotongan orator club symbolizing the traditional richness of the Cook Islands. On the top of the shield is an Ariki head-dress (pare kura) made of red feathers – symbolizing the importance of the traditional ranking system. Below the shield is a scroll bearing the name of the nation: Cook Islands.
'Te Atua Mou E' ("To God Almighty") is the national anthem of Cook Islands. The music of the anthem have been composed by Sir Tom Davis - the former Prime Minister of Cook Islands. The lyrics of the anthem have been authored by Pa Tepaeru Terito Ariki (Lady Davis) - the spouse of the former Prime Minister. The anthem was officially adopted in 1982.
Te Atua mou e
Ko koe rai te pu
O te pa enua e
I to matou nei reo
Te kapiki atu nei
Ia matou nei
Omai te korona mou
Kia vai rai te aroa
O te pa enua e.
God of truth,
You are the ruler
Of our country.
To our voices
As we call to you,
Protect and guide us
And give us your crown of truth
So we can be successful
And so that love
And peace will rule forever
Over our beloved country.
The current official currency of Cook Islands is New Zealand dollar. It is subdivided into 100 cents.
Coins in denominations of 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 are currently in circulation. The obverse side of all Coins of Cook Islands feature Queen Elizabeth II – the Head of the Realm of New Zealand.
Banknotes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 are currently in circulation.
The New Zealand pound was used in Cook Islands until 1967 when it was replaced by the New Zealand dollar. Local coins of the New Zealand dollar were issued for Cook Islands in 1972. In 1987, Cook Islands dollar was introduced at par with the New Zealand dollar. By 1993, the circulating coins were not backed at all and only $3 note was backed. The reluctance of the commercial banks for conversion of the currency as well as the rising national debts, resulted in an economic crisis. Due to this, the government reverted back to the New Zealand dollar as the country’s national currency in 1995.