Monday, 11 September 2017

Flag of the Week: Kiribati

I consider this to be one of the world's most attractive flags. It's a relatively recent flag, since Kiribati only became an independent nation in 1979. The flag was chosen through a competition that was held in the months before independence. That was an excellent idea. This guaranteed that a beautiful, artistic design would be chosen. If it had been left up to bureaucrats the country would have ended up having a boring three-stripe flag like most of the world's countries.

The sun, the waves and a bird. What a wonderful combination!

Kiribati is in danger of becoming the world's first country to disappear as the result of a natural catastrophe. The population of 110,000 are scattered over 21 low-lying islands in the mid-Pacific. Global warming is causing the sea to rise, eating away at the land, causing the people to crowd together further inland. Two uninhabited islands already disappeared underwater in 1999. The government of Kiribati has been buying land in Fiji, as a place to swiftly evacuate all of its citizens in the case of a disaster. Negotiations are ongoing to allow Kiribati citizens to move to Australia and New Zealand.

It would be a shame for this wonderful flag to cease to exist. Maybe a suitable island can be found that the Kiribati people can own outright to preserve their sovereignty. Or better still, the world's leading nations, including America, could do something to reverse the effects of global warming.

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