The official flag of American Samoa features a large white triangle trimmed in red and pointing toward the hoist side. This large element is set against a dark blue background which forms two smaller triangle shapes on the upper and bottom hoist side of the flag. Set in the center portion of the white triangle is a depiction of a bald eagle holding a fly whisk and war club in its talons. This flag design was adopted by American Samoa on April 27, 1960.
The use of the colors red, white, and blue on American Samoa’s flag are traditional colors in terms of both Samoa and the familiar stars and stripes on the United States’ official flag. The presence of the bald eagle on American Samoa’s flag is an obvious reference to the U.S. The fly whisk and war club depicted in the eagle’s talons are both native symbols. The fly whisk or fue is representative of the knowledge of the traditional local leaders while the war club or uatogi is symbolizes the power of the government.
Prior to its time as a European colony, the people of American Samoa did not use a flag to represent their homeland. The region’s first official flag was flown in the 1800s but it wasn’t until the mid-1900s that local residents began deliberating a proposal to design a new flag aimed at better reflecting the unique character of American Samoa. The current flag was designed by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry and local government leaders.
Before the adoption of its current flag American Samoa flew the American stars and stripes national flag. Due to poor documentation the exact nature of the flags used by this region before it became an American territory are unknown. After the Samoan region was split between the nations of the U.S., United Kingdom, and Germany the eastern area, now known as American Samoa, adopted the American national flag. The U.S. Red, White, and Blue was first raised in 1900 and remained the region’s only flag up until 1960 when American Samoa adopted its current flag design.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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