1. Home
  2. Vanuatu
  3. Flags, Symbols & Currency of Vanuatu

Flags, Symbols & Currency of Vanuatu

The National Flag Of Vanuatu has two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a black isosceles triangle with yellow stripe and a central symbol.

Two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a black isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) all separated by a black-edged yellow stripe in the shape of a horizontal Y (the two points of the Y face the hoist side and enclose the triangle); centered in the triangle is a boar's tusk encircling two crossed namele fern fronds, all in yellow; red represents the blood of boars and men, as well as unity, green the richness of the islands, and black the ni-Vanuatu people; the yellow Y-shape - which reflects the pattern of the islands in the Pacific Ocean - symbolizes the light of the Gospel spreading through the islands; the boar's tusk is a symbol of prosperity frequently worn as a pendant on the islands; the fern fronds represent peace.

The History of the Flag of Vanuatu

In 1977, a flag was designed by a local artist of Vanuatu named Kalontas Malon. The flag designed by him was adopted by the Vanua'aku Pati, a democratic socialist political party in Vanuatu, one of the two political parties formed during the independence movement in the country. The flag became the inspiration for the new national flag of independent Vanuatu when the party led the New Hebrides to independence. On February 18, 1980, the national flag of Vanuatu was formally adopted. It used the colors of the 1977 party flag. The new design was based on submissions from local artists.

Historical Flags of Vanuatu

Flag of People's Provisional Government of Vanuatu led by Vanua'aku Pati

Flag of People's Provisional Government of Vanuatu led by Vanua'aku Pati
Flag of People's Provisional Government of Vanuatu led by Vanua'aku Pati

Symbols of Vanuatu

Coat of Arms of Vanuatu

Coat of Arms of Vanuatu

Vanuatu's Coat of arms shows a Melanesian warrior with a spear in hand standing before a mountain. The tusk of a boar is extends vertically from behind the moutain and encircles two crossed namele fern (coconut palm) fronds. At the bottom of this design is a yellow banner bearing the words LONG GOD YUMI STANAP (Bislama language). The words translate to "IN GOD WE STAND." The coat of arms of Vanuatu was adopted in 1980. 

National Motto 

Long God Yumi Stanap

National Anthem

  • Anthem Title: Yumi, Yumi, Yumi (We, We, We)
  • Composer: François Vincent Ayssav
  • Lyricist: François Vincent Ayssav
  • Date of Adoption: 1980

"Yumi, Yumi, Yumi is Vanuatu's national anthem. The anthem was adopted in 1980. François Vincent Ayssav is both the lyricist and composer of this anthem.

Yumi, Yumi, Yumi (Bislama)

CHORUS:

Yumi, yumi, yumi i glat long talem se

Yumi, yumi, yumi ol man blong Vanuatu

God i givim ples ia long yumi,

Yumi glat tumas long hem,

Yumi strong mo yumi fri long hem,

Yumi brata evriwan!

CHORUS

Plante fasin blong bifo i stap,

Plante fasin blong tedei,

Be yumi i olsem wan nomo,

Hemia fasin blong yumi!

CHORUS

Yumi save plante wok i stap,

Long ol aelan blong yumi,

God i helpem yumi evriwan,

Hem i papa blong yumi!

"We, We, We"

CHORUS:

We are, we are, we are happy to proclaim

We are, we are, we are the people of Vanuatu

God has given us this land,

We are grateful for this,

We are strong and we are free in this land,

We are all brothers!

CHORUS

Many customs of before we have,

Many customs from today,

But we are all one,

Despite our many ways!

CHORUS

We know there is plenty of work to be done,

On all our many islands,

God helps us in our work,

He is Our Father!

The Currency of Vanuatu is the Vanuatu vatu

The currency used in Vanuatu is the vatu. It is abbreviated as VUV and the sign used to refer to it is VT. The Reserve Bank of Vanuatu is responsible for the issuance and regulation of the vatu in the Vanuatu economy.

History of the Vanuatu Vatu

Before 1981, the currency used in Vanuatu was New Hebrides franc. One year after the nation received independence, this currency was replaced by the vatu at par. The vatu was issued without any sub-unit with 1 vatu being its smallest unit. The circulation of the Australian dollar ceased right after the introduction of the vatu.

Coins

50 vatu was the first coin to be issued after Vanuatu gained its independence in 1981. It was followed by 1, 2, and 5 vatus which were struck in aluminium bronze. Similar to the 50 vatu, the 10 and 20 vatu coins were also struck in cupro-nickel. The vatu coins had features of the Vanuatu coat of arms, traditional items of value, and pig’s tusks. Due to the Vanuatu colonial history, the sizes of the coins resemble that of their colonial rulers who were the French and British. For instance, the 100 coin which replaces the 100 note in 1988 resembles the British 1 pound coin in thickness and size. The Reserve Bank of Vanuatu stopped issuing the 1 and 2 vatu coins in 2011. As a result, prices are now rounded off to the nearest 5 vatu. In 2015, Vanuatu went through a coinage reform which saw minting of a new series of coins by the Royal Australian Mint. Consequently, the coins which are used presently are denominated as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 vatus.

Banknotes

The Central Bank of Vanuatu issued the first notes in March of 1982. The denominations introduced were 100, 500, and 1,000 vatu. In 1989, the 5,000 vatu was introduced. Shortly after in 1993, newly designed 500 and 1,000 vatu notes were issued. Then the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu issued another series of new notes which were printed on a polymer in 1994. The change was accompanied by the introduction of the 2,000 vatu note. Currently, the residents of Vanuatu deal in denominations of 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 vatu notes.

Commemorative Notes

The polymer 10,000 vatu note was first issued on July 30, 2010 to celebrate Vanuatu’s 30 years of independence.

Vanuatu vatu Banknote

Cattle among palm trees. Portrait from Vanuatu 100 Vatu 1982 Banknotes.
Cattle among palm trees. Portrait from Vanuatu 100 Vatu 1982 Banknotes.

Vanuatu vatu Coin

Vanuatu 50 vatu coin
Vanuatu 50 vatu coin

Historical Currencies of Vanuatu

New Hebrides Franc

The New Hebrides Franc served as the currency of the Pacific island group of the New Hebrides (an Anglo French Condominium) that was to later become Vanuatu post-independence in 1980. This currency was used till 1980 to be replaced by the Vanuatu vatu in 1981. It was divided into 100 centimes but 1 franc was the smallest denomination.

New Hebrides Franc Coin

French New Hebrides coin 5 five francs 1970, female head in liberty cap left, date below, native design of exotic bird, denomination below.
French New Hebrides coin 5 five francs 1970, female head in liberty cap left, date below, native design of exotic bird, denomination below.

Latest by WorldAtlas