|Flag Name(s)||[Flag Of Samoa]|
|Color Scheme||red blue white|
|Color and Design|
A red field with the blue rectangle on the upper hoist-side quadrant bearing the Southern Cross of four white larger five-pointed stars and the smaller star in the center.
|Meaning & Symbolism||The blue canton represents the freedom of the Samoan people, while the red field of the flag is a symbol of their courage. Both colors also feature in the colonial flags that represented Samoa while it was part of the British Empire. Those flags also provided the flag of Samoa with its layout, so the modern flag serves as a clear link to the nation's history as part of the British Empire. The five white stars that are arranged to form the Southern Cross constellation is a common feature on many of the flags of Pacific nations, and it is used to honor the nation's position in the Southern Hemisphere.|
|Description and Brief History|
The flag of Samoa consists of a red field with a blue rectangle in the canton. The blue rectangle bears the Southern Cross: four large white stars and one smaller star. It was first adopted from February 24, 1949 for UN Trusteeships, and continuously applied for the state's independence on January 1, 1962.
Prior to the First World War, Samoa was a colony of the German Empire. German colonies used the flag of the Imperial Colonial Office, a black-white-red tricolour defaced with the Imperial Eagle. The Imperial German government intended to introduce specific flags for the colonies (also based on the tricolour) and several proposals were created, but the war and the subsequent loss of all overseas territories prevented their official adoption. New Zealand occupied German Samoa in 1914 and officially gained control of the territory in 1919.
From the capture by New Zealand forces on August 29, 1914, a defaced ensign with three palm trees encircled, and emblazoned on the fly were used. The defaced Blue Ensign was used by vessels owned by the mandate government, or those operated in the government service, while the defaced Red Ensign was used by locally registered civilian ships.
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