Wednesday, 18 January 2012 8:04 AM

The Solomon Islands Flag

National flags of a country are a symbol of a country's pride, something people have often taken for granted.

Have you ever wondered about the Solomon Islands flag and its history?

According to research, the Solomon Islands flag was adopted in 1977 one year before Independence from Britain and although you may have thought it was a design from a Solomon Islander, this is not so.

The Solomon Island flag was designed by a New Zealander who was a Visual Arts Master at the KG VI school from 1974-1978.

According to research two flags were approved by the leaders then, following national applications for a suitable national flag. The first one was a blue flag with a yellow circle bordered with chains, containing a black frigate bird. However, this was rejected as the frigate bird was a symbol of one Province and not the Solomon Islands.

After much discussion, another flag was approved and said to have won the competition. It was with a red back ground and a black chain formed as an ellipse centered on the flag. According to the winner, the chains represented the country's black birding history and the red represented blood spilt. The flag was then published on the Solomon Islands Drum which caused quite a controversy which the leaders then withdrew.

"I was an entrant in the 1975 contest to design the new national flag. One of the Solomon Islander judges told me at the time that my design was favored, but it was preferred that the winner should be a national. I was surprised later; post Independence, to learn that the adopted national flag was in fact the one submitted in the pre-independence competition by myself," says the New Zealander.

"The design I entered, was green, yellow and blue. The yellow (dark), was a diagonal stripe running from bottom left corner to top right corner. The upper left triangle was blue (sea/sky), the lower triangle was green (fertile land), the yellow (sun/sandy beaches). A cluster of stars in the top left corner signified the provinces, not the Southern Cross."

30 years later, we can only look back and try to understand what the leaders and the nation were going through to adopt a flag that could represent the whole Solomon Islands.

Today, as we fly our flag we can fly it with a new understanding and appreciation of what the flag stands for.