New Caledonia has two official flags; the French national flag (also called the French Tricolour) and the Kanuk flag, which was adopted in 2010. The design of French flag features three vertical stripes; blue near the hoist side, white in the middle, and red at the bottom. The design of the Kanuk flag is made up of three horizontal stripes starting with blue on top, red in the center, and green at the bottom. A yellow disc is situated toward the hoist side which highlights the nation’s symbol; a black rooftop totem. Due to New Caledonia’s status as a French territory the Pacific Ocean island region flew only France’s national flag up until 2010. The regional Kanuk flag was then added on July 13, 2010.

The blue horizontal stripe at the top of New Caledonia’s flag represents both the waters of the Pacific Ocean as well as the tropical sky. Its red stripe symbolizes the blood shed by the residents of New Caledonia over the years in their ongoing quest for freedom, collectivism, and harmony. The bottom green strip is a reference to the island of New Caledonia. The yellow disc is a refers to the sun while the symbol inside it is called a a flèche faitière; a dart or arrow traditionally struck through the roofs of tutut homes by locals.

The official national flag of France has been used to represent New Caledonia since 1835 when the island first became an overseas French territory. In 2010 the Congress of New Caledonia approved having the Kanuk flag flown alongside the French Tricolour. This new regional flag takes its design from the flag previously used by the local political party the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front. The first time the Kanuk flag was raised took place during an official ceremony on July 17, 2010.

New Caledonia has historically been represented by France’s national flag. In 2008, however, efforts were made by the local government to introduce a new modern flag that would better reflect the culture and distinct character of the local region. At that time the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front was using its own flag (the Kanuk). Despite encountering a large degree of controversy and much debate the local government chose the Kanuk flag design to represent the unique identity of New Caledonia.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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