National flag - Flag of Tonga

National flag  >  Flag of Tonga

Flag of Tonga

The flag of Tonga consists of a red field with a white canton charged with a red couped cross. Adopted in 1875 after being officially enshrined into the nation's constitution, it has been the flag of the Kingdom of Tonga since that year. The constitution stipulates that the national flag can never be changed.

The British first arrived in Tonga in the late-18th century, when Captain James Cook made three visits to the islands between 1773 and 1777. Approximately fifty years later, English Wesleyan Methodist missionaries came to Tonga and began converting the islanders to Christianity. In 1831, they succeeded in converting "paramount chief" Taufa'ahau Tupou, who became King George Tupou I in 1845. It was during this time (circa 1840s) that the first Tongan flag was adopted. It consisted of a white field with a cross (either red or blue in colour) at all four corners, and the letters "A" (in red) and "M" (in blue) at the centre that symbolise the king.

Upon his accession to the throne, the king sought to design a new flag for the nation, one that would represent Christianity. He befriended Shirley Waldemar Baker – a member of the United Kingdom's Tongan mission who later became the Prime Minister of Tonga – and they worked together to formulate a new flag, coat of arms and national anthem for Tonga. The new design resembled the British Red Ensign, in that three-quarters of it consisted of a simple red field, with a "distinctive canton" featured in the upper hoist section; this was first used in 1866. A new constitution for the kingdom was formulated and proclaimed on 4 November 1875. It "codified" the new flag design, and marks when it was adopted as the national flag. Under Article 47 of the Constitution, the flag can "never be altered" and "shall always be the flag" of Tonga.

The colours and symbols of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. The red couped cross alludes to Christianity, the religion practised by approximately 97% of the country's population. The white epitomises purity, while the red evokes the sacrifice of the Blood of Christ, which he shed during his Crucifixion.

The previous design of the flag featured a plain white field charged with the red couped cross. However, it was later discovered that this flag was almost identical to the emblem of the International Red Cross, which had been adopted in 1863. As a result of this finding, the Tongan flag was set at the canton of a red field instead, leading to the present design of the flag. The previous design, nonetheless, remains a national symbol of Tonga. The current flag of Tonga also has some similarities with the flags of Switzerland and Georgia.

National flag 
Flag of Tonga

Country - Tonga

Tonga (Tongan: Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), officially the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian country and archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The total surface area is about 750 km2 scattered over 700000 km2 of the southern Pacific Ocean. The sovereign state has a population of 100,651 people, of whom 70% reside on the main island of Tongatapu.

Tonga stretches across approximately 800 km in a north-south line. It is surrounded by Fiji and Wallis and Futuna (France) to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, Niue to the east (which is the nearest foreign territory), Kermadec (part of New Zealand) to the southwest, and New Caledonia (France) and Vanuatu to the farther west. It is about 1800 km from New Zealand's North Island.

Language

Flag of Tonga (English)  Bandiera delle Tonga (Italiano)  Vlag van Tonga (Nederlands)  Drapeau des Tonga (Français)  Flagge Tongas (Deutsch)  Bandeira de Tonga (Português)  Флаг Тонга (Русский)  Bandera de Tonga (Español)  Flaga Tonga (Polski)  汤加国旗 (中文)  Tongas flagga (Svenska)  トンガの国旗 (日本語)  Прапор Тонги (Українська)  Национално знаме на Тонга (Български)  통가의 국기 (한국어)  Tongan lippu (Suomi)  Bendera Tonga (Bahasa Indonesia)  Tongos vėliava (Lietuvių)  Tongas flag (Dansk)  Vlajka Tongy (Česky)  Tonga bayrağı (Türkçe)  Застава Тонге (Српски / Srpski)  Tonga lipp (Eesti)  Vlajka Tongy (Slovenčina)  Tonga zászlaja (Magyar)  Zastava Tonge (Hrvatski)  ธงชาติตองงา (ไทย)  Σημαία των Τόνγκα (Ελληνικά) 
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