Flag of Palau

Flag of Palau
Country Palau
Population 18,058 (2024)
Area (Km²) 460
Сontinent Oceania
Emoji 🇵🇼
  hex rgb
#0085CA 0, 133, 202
#FFD100 255, 209, 0

The flag of Palau was officially adopted on January 1, 1981, when Palau gained autonomy as part of the Pacific Islands under the tutelage of the United States, and later, in 1994, full independence. The flag consists of a yellow disk placed slightly to the left of the center on a blue background.

Meaning of the flag of Palau

  • The blue background symbolizes peace, tranquility, harmony with nature, and the vastness of the sky and water of the Pacific Ocean surrounding the islands; 
  • The golden circle, which is slightly offset from the center to the left edge, symbolizes the full moon. In Palauan culture, the full moon is considered the optimal time for various life activities such as fishing, gardening, and other traditional work. The moon also represents warmth, light, and peace.

History of the Palau flag

There is unconfirmed information about the discovery of the island of Palau, which claims that Rui Lopez de Villalobos visited it as early as 1543. However, the official discovery of the island took place in 1710 during a Spanish expedition, as a result of which the islands became part of the Spanish East Indies. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Spain did not take any part in the governance of the islands, and only in 1885 did it officially declare its rights and build administrative institutions to carry out colonial administration. Until 1899, the Spanish red and yellow flag with the coat of arms was used.
In 1899, the Spanish-American War ended in defeat for Spain, after which it was decided to sell its Pacific possessions, including Palau, to Germany. This sale took place under the terms of the German-Spanish Treaty, which marked the beginning of the German colonization of the islands, which lasted from 1899 to 1914. During this period, the flag consisted of three horizontal stripes: black, white, and red, arranged from top to bottom, i.e. the usual German flag. Germany built an administrative center on the island of Yap, from where it ruled the territory. Unlike Spain, Germany began to develop Palau by building roads, telegraph lines, and plantations for growing copra (dried coconut kernels), the main export product.

History of the Palau flag

The next stage in Palau's history was Japanese colonial rule from 1914 to 1944. Japan occupied the islands in 1914 during the First World War, but received the mandate to govern them in 1919 under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. By the way, the flag that was used then is similar in structure to the modern flag of Palau. The Japanese flag is a white cloth with a red circle in the center, and the modern Palauan flag is a blue cloth with a yellow circle. Japan began to develop the island even more than the previous colonizers. They started building schools, hospitals, and businesses, encouraged Japanese to move to the islands, which led to an increase in the Japanese population, which began to dominate, and the indigenous population was discriminated against and restricted in their rights. But this situation did not last long, in 1944, during World War II, the islands became the site of fierce battles with the United States, as a result of which Japan was defeated and Palau was ceded to the United States.
While the American flag took on its final form in 1960, with 50 stars and 13 servants, the previous version with 48 stars was used during the period of the islands' rule, which began in 1944. On July 18, 1947, the islands officially became part of the United Nations Trust Territory in Micronesia, administered by the United States. During this period, Palau became part of the entity along with the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The United States supported their development and facilitated a gradual transition to self-government. In 1979, the other territories decided to form the Federated States of Micronesia, but Palau chose a different path and continued to move toward independence. The flag of the Federated States of Micronesia consists of four white five-pointed stars arranged in a diamond shape on a blue background. The blue color symbolizes the Pacific Ocean, and each star represents one of the four Federated States of Micronesia (Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae).

History of the Palau flag

Palau officially declared its independence on October 1, 1981, after having been administered by the United States for some time as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Since then, the official flag of Palau has been a blue background with a yellow circle slightly offset to the left of center. In 1994, Palau signed a Free Association Agreement with the United States, which officially entered into force on October 1, 1994. Under this agreement, the United States gained access to the territory and free deployment of military facilities in exchange for protection and financial assistance.