Located in the western Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Palau, celebrates its Independence Day on October 1. Palau became a free country on this day in 1994, after being a United Nations Trust Territory under U.S. administration for 47 years.
What is the significance of Independence Day in the history of Palau?
European presence became prominent in Palau around 18th century, when the British traders began frequenting the country. The Spanish influence gradually grew in this island nation, and Pope Leo XIII soon asserted Spain's claim over the Caroline Islands (An archipelago of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean, north of Guinea. Today, the islands are politically divided into Federated States of Micronesia and Palau). This ushered the beginning of foreign domination of Palau.
After its defeat in the Spanish-American War, Spain sold Caroline Islands to Germany in 1899. Palau passed from Germany to Japan during World War I, and after the World War II Caroline Islands came under the administration of the United States as a United Nations Trust Territory. Palau was named as one of the six island districts of this trusteeship.
In 1979, a single federated Micronesian state comprising of four Trust Territory districts was formed, but Palau choose not to associate with other islands of the federation that was gradually dissolved. In 1981, Palau adopted its own constitution, and a year later in 1982 it signed Compact of Free Association with the United States.
After of the ensuing referendums, and amendments to its constitution, Palau emerged as a sovereign nation on October 1, 1994.
What does the national flag of Palau represents?
The national flag of Palau was adopted on January 1, 1981. The flag design was a winning entry in a 1979 flag competition. The flag consists of blue base with a yellow circular disc slightly off-center. The blue base signifies the political evolution of this island nation since its independence, and the yellow disc represents the moon - a symbol of peace.
Full moon is considered a fortunate time for human activities such as fishing, planting and harvesting. It is also an emblem of solidarity, peace, and love.
Who wrote the national anthem of Palau?
Belau rekid, which means Our Palau, is the national anthem of Palau. It was adopted in 1980. Its lyrics were combined from work of several authors, and its music has been composed by Ymesei O. Ezekiel. ?