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Falkland Islands Flag

Flag of Falkland Islands
Flag Name(s) [Flag Of Falkland Islands]
Aspect Ratio(1:2)
Color Schemeblue red,white
Color and Design

Blue Ensign with the coat-of-arms of the Falkland Islands in the fly.

Meaning & SymbolismThe flag comprises a blue background with the Union Jack (flag of the UK) in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Falkland Island coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag. The color of blue symbolizes an ocean and resources and the coat arms represents the patriotism towards the nation. The coat of arms contains a white ram, symbolizing sheep raising, which was once the major economic activity on the island.
Description and Brief History

The current flag of the Falkland Islands was adopted on 25 January 1999 and consists of a defaced Blue Ensign, with the Union Flag in the canton and the Falkland Islands coat-of-arms in the fly.

The Falkland Islands have been claimed and occupied by several nations throughout its history, who generally used their national flags on the islands. It was not until 1876 that the islands were given a flag of their own, which consisted of a Blue Ensign defaced with the seal of the islands - an image of HMS Hebe (which brought many of the early British settlers to the islands, including Richard Moody, in the 1840s) in Falkland Sound, overlooked by a bullock (representing feral cattle which once roamed the islands). A new coat-of-arms for the islands was introduced on 16 October 1925, consisting of the Desire (which was captained by John Davis who is reputed to have discovered the islands in 1592) and a sea lion in a shield surrounded by the motto of the islands, Desire the Right. This coat-of-arms later replaced the image of the bullock and ship on the flag.

On 29 September 1948, the flag was updated to include the new coat-of-arms (a ram above the Desire on shield with the motto below) superimposed upon a white disc. The flag was banned by the Argentine military junta from 2 April – 14 June 1982, during their occupation of the islands, when it was replaced by the flag of Argentina.

In 1999 the size of the arms was increased and the white disc removed to create the current flag. The Falkland Islands Red Ensign was created by The Merchant Shipping (Falkland Islands Colours) Order 1998, No. 3147 of 1998, which came into force in 1999 and which contains a picture of the ensign containing the Falkland arms on a white disc. Red Ensign with the Falklands coat of arms superimposed is used as the islands' civil ensign. Previously the plain red ensign was used by ships in the territorial waters around the Falklands. The Governor of the Falkland Islands uses a Union Flag defaced with the coat of arms. It was this flag that was raised at Government House in Stanley by the Royal Marines at the end of the Falkland War, signifying the liberation of the islands.


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