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Flag of Tonga

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Title: Flag of Tonga  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tonga, Outline of Tonga, Culture of Tonga, LGBT history in Tonga, Tu'i Kanokupolu
Collection: 1875 Introductions, National Flags, National Symbols of Tonga, Red and White Flags
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Flag of Tonga

Use Civil and state flag, civil and state ensign
Proportion 1:2
Adopted 4 November 1875
Design A red field with a white canton containing a couped red cross
Variant flag of Tonga
Name Naval Ensign of Tonga
Use Naval ensign
Proportion 1:2
Variant flag of Tonga
Name Royal Standard of Tonga
Use Other
Proportion 26:37

The flag of Tonga consists of a red field with a white canton charged with a red couped cross. Adopted in 1875 after being officially enshrined into the nation's constitution, it has been the flag of the Kingdom of Tonga since that year. The constitution stipulates that the national flag can never be changed.


  • History 1
  • Design 2
    • Symbolism 2.1
    • Similarities 2.2
  • Gallery 3
    • Historical flags 3.1
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The British first arrived in Tonga in the late-18th century, when Captain

External links

  1. ^ a b "Tonga profile". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Fletcher, Matt; Keller, Nancy (2001). Tonga. Lonely Planet. pp. 14–15. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Smith, Whitney (24 November 2013). "Flag of Tonga". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 9 August 2014.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b c d e Kindersley Ltd., Dorling (6 January 2009). Complete Flags of the World. Penguin. p. 235. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Peaslee, Amos J. (1985). "Tonga". Constitutions of Nations (Springer Netherlands): 1577.   ()
  6. ^ a b c d "Tonga". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 


Tongatapu (1858–1862)
Tongatapu (1858–1862)
Tonga (1862–1866)
Tonga (1862–1866)
Royal Standard of Tonga (1862–1875)
Royal Standard of Tonga (1862–1875)
Flag of the Prime Minister
Flag of the Prime Minister

Historical flags

Flag of the Tonga Defence Services
Flag of the Tonga Defence Services
Customs Service Ensign
Customs Service Ensign
Quarantine Ensign
Quarantine Ensign
Pilot flag
Pilot flag


The previous design of the flag featured a plain white field Caucasian Georgia.


The colours and symbols of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. The red couped cross alludes to Christianity,[3] the religion practised by approximately 97% of the country's population.[6] The white epitomises purity,[4][6] while the red evokes the sacrifice of the Blood of Christ, which he shed during his Crucifixion.[3][4][6]



Upon his accession to the throne, the king sought to design a new flag for the nation,[3] one that would represent Christianity.[4] He befriended Shirley Waldemar Baker – a member of the United Kingdom's Tongan mission who later became the Prime Minister of Tonga – and they worked together to formulate a new flag, coat of arms and national anthem for Tonga.[2] The new design resembled the British Red Ensign, in that three-quarters of it consisted of a simple red field, with a "distinctive canton" featured in the upper hoist section; this was first used in 1866.[3] A new constitution for the kingdom was formulated and proclaimed on 4 November 1875.[2] It "codified" the new flag design,[3] and marks when it was adopted as the national flag.[4] Under Article 47 of the Constitution, this flag can "never be altered" and "shall always be the flag" of Tonga.[5]

[3] It was during this time (circa 1840s) that the first Tongan flag was adopted. It consisted of a white field with a cross (either red or blue in colour) at all four corners, and the letters "A" (in red) and "M" (in blue) at the centre that symbolise the king.[2]

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