flag of tonga


August 20, 2022

The flag of Tonga is a red cross with a red cross inside a small white rectangle drawn in the upper left corner on a red background. The flag, officially incorporated into and adopted by the Constitution of Tonga enacted in 1875, has become the national flag of Tonga from that year on. Tonga's constitution stipulates that the flag cannot be changed.


The British first arrived in Tonga in the late 18th century, when Captain James Cook made three trips to Tonga between 1773 and 1777. About 50 years later, British Wesleyan Methodist missionaries came to Tonga and began to convert the natives to Christianity. In 1831, Taufa'ahau Tupou, a member of the royal family of Tonga, converted to Christianity on the advice of the British, and in 1845 he was crowned King George Tupou I of Tonga. It was during this period (circa 1840s) that the flag of Tonga was adopted for the first time. On a white background, two red and two blue crosses are drawn on each of the four corners, and the letters "A" (red) and "M" (blue), symbolizing the king, are drawn in the center. I tried to design a new flag representing Christianity for King George Tupo I became friends with Shirley Waldemar Baker, a British delegation to Tonga who served as Prime Minister of Tonga, who helped establish a new flag, coat of arms and national anthem for Tonga. The new flag design, first used in 1866, resembled the Red Ensign, a British merchant ship, three-quarters of which had a simple red background and featured a "characteristic canton" on the top of the flagpole.1875 On November 4, the new constitution of Tonga was enacted and put into effect. This constitution codified Tonga's new flag design and referred to when the flag was adopted. Article 47 of the Constitution of Tonga stipulates that the national flag of Tonga is "an eternal flag that cannot be changed".



The colors and symbols of the flag convey the cultural, political and regional significance of Tonga. The red cross means Christianity, which is the religion of about 97% of Tonga's population. The flag of Tonga is also one of 28 flags bearing the symbol of Christianity. The white color symbolizes purity and the red background symbolizes the blood of Jesus that was sacrificed after he died on the cross.


The previous flag design was a design with a red cross in the center on a white background. However, it was later found that this flag design was almost identical to the Red Cross emblem adopted in 1863. With this opportunity, the flag of Tonga was changed to a design with a white canton with a red cross on top of a red background, leading to the current design of the flag. Nevertheless, the former design remains the national symbol of Tonga.


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