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Gilbert and Ellice Islands

Last modified: 2003-02-08 by sam lockton
Keywords: gilbert and ellice islands | ocean | bird: frigate | frigate bird | sun |
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Post-1969 flag of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands

[ Gilbert and Ellice Islands flag with scroll ]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, 03 December 2002


1937-1969 flag

[ Gilbert and Ellice Islands flag ]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, 03 December 2002

From "The Flag Bulletin" XVIII:4 (july-august 1979) page 119 -

The old shield (without the motto) had been incorporated in the center of the fly half of a British Blue Ensign as the state ensign of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. Introduced following the grant of the arms in 1937, it was given official recognition on 28 August 1969 as a civil flag for the colony. The shield was placed directly on the field, rather than on the white disk used in certain colonial ensigns. Although the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony dated from 1915 (having been a protectorate since 1892), it had no distinctive flag prior to the grant of arms. The local British Resident and the Western Pacific High Commissioner flew defaced Union Jacks for use, respectively, in the Gilbert Islands and the same territory plus the Phoenix Islands.

Christian Berghänel, 03 December 2002

Presentation of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands

A British colony, the territory consisted of several island chains:

Gilbert Islands - 16 coral atolls, presently Kirabati. The Gilbert Islands were discovered by the British in 1764 and made a protectorate in 1892. In 1915, it was made a colony with the Ellice Islands. In 1975, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands were separated and given internal self government. These islands became the nation of Kiribati.

Phoenix Islands - these islands became a part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony in 1937.

Ellice Islands - Sighted in 1568 by Alvaro de Mendenña de Neira, the Ellice Islands became a British protectorate in 1892 and annexed with the Gilbert Islands in 1915. These islands became Tuvalu.

Colonial Flags

The flag used by Gilbert and Ellice Islands was the British Blue Ensign with the arms in the fly inside a white circle.

Those arms were different to the current Kiribatian arms just because of the motto.

After Tuvalu were separated from Gilbert Islads, It adopted a new flag, or said better, a new arms in the fly. Those arms were put into a white circle.
Juan Manuel Gabino, 05 January 2000

The Blue Ensign of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands from 1937 to 1976, was without the white circle. Source: Amendment 6 (1941) to 1930 Admiralty Flag Book.
David Prothero, 19 January 2000

Coat of Arms on a stamp

[Gilbert and Ellice Islands COA on stamp]
by Roger Moyer

I came across the following item at a stamp show recently. The Coat of Arms seems to differ from the badge as depicted on the defaced blue ensign.
Roger Moyer, 31 October 2000