Falkland Island is a British Overseas Territory. Thus, its flag has an element of the British flag. Falkland Islands’ current flag was adopted on January 25, 1999, although the flag was first hoisted on September 22, 1948. However, the flag's design hoisted in 1948 is slightly different from the current flag in that the coat of arms was superimposed on a white disc.
The flag of Falkland Islands comprises a blue background with the Union Jack (flag of the United Kingdom) in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Falkland Island coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag. The coat of arms contains a white ram, symbolizing sheep raising, which was once the major economic activity on the island. Underneath the sheep is a sailing ship representing the Desire, whose crew discovered the islands. Below the Desire is a scroll bearing the islands’ motto: DESIRE THE RIGHT. The national flag of the Falkland Islands has a height to length proportion of 1:2.
Before the Falkland Islands became British overseas territory, it was occupied by several nations who hoisted their national flags on the island. However, the island got its first flag in 1876, with the flag consisting of a Union Jack on the upper left corner and the islands’ seal, which was an image of HMS Hebe overlooked by a bullock. On October 16, 1925, the island adopted a new coat of arms, which featured the Desire and sea lion surrounded by the islands’ motto: Desire the Right. This new coat of arms replaced the seal on the flag, slightly altering the flag’s look.
The islands’ flag was again updated on September 29, 1948, when the current coat of arms was added to the flag. This time, the arms was superimposed on a white disc. The updated flag was used from 1948 to 1999 when the current flag was adopted. However, the flag was briefly banned between April 2 and June 14, 1982, when the Argentine military junta occupied the island. The Argentine flag was hoisted on the island during this period of occupation.
Since 1876, the Falkland Islands has used one seal and two different coat of arms. The seal, used from 1876 to 1925, featured the image of HMS Hebe, which the early British settlers, including Richard Moody, used to access the island. Bullock (wild cattle that once roamed the island) overlooked the ship.
On October 16, 1925, the island introduced the first coat of arms, consisting of a shield with a sea lion on the lower left half and Desire on the upper right. The islands’ motor: Desire the Right, (on a plaited strap) surrounded the shield. This coat of arms is currently used by the islands’ defense forces.
The current Falkland Islands’ coat of arms was adopted on September 29, 1948. It comprises a shield with a ram on a bunch of grass (sheep rearing was a major agricultural activity on the island). The tussock grass represents the islands’ native vegetation. Underneath the ram is a sailing ship, representing Desire, a vessel used by John Davis when he discovered the islands in 1592. Below the shield is the islands’ motto: Desire the Right.
The official currency of the Falkland Islands is the Falkland Islands pound. It is represented by the symbol FK £ to distinguish it from other pound denominations. The Falkland Island pound is pegged at par on the sterling pound, with banknotes for the two currencies used interchangeably on the island. However, only FK £ in minted the UK are accepted in Britain.
The Falkland Islands introduced the 1⁄2, 1, 2, 5, and 10 pence coins in 1974, with 50 pence introduced six years later, followed by 20 pence in 1982. 1 and 2-pound coins were introduced in 1987 and 2004 respectively. The 1⁄2 coin was withdrawn in 1983.
The first notes, 5 and 10 shillings, 1 and 5 pounds, were introduced between 1899 and 1901, followed by 5 shilling note in 1916. 10 and 20 pounds notes were introduced in 1975 and 1984 respectively, with the 50-pound note issued in 1990. Today, only the 5, 10, 20, and 50 pounds banknotes are in circulation.
The British introduced the pound in the Falkland Islands. However, only the Sterling pound circulated on the islands, with the pound subdivided into 20 shillings of 12 pence each. Circulation of banknotes made in Falkland started in 1899 while coins have been minted since 1974. Argentine peso replaced the pound briefly during the Falkland War in 1982.