Tuvalu, which means “island of the group of eight” in the local language, is located in the southern Pacific Ocean. The land covers an area of 26 square meters, and contains a population of about 10,000, most of whom are ethnically Polynesian and Christian. English is the official language, and the currency is the dollar. The capital, is Funafuti.
Tuvalu’s flag is light blue, symbolizing the sea and sky. Nine yellow five-pointed stars symbol of the nine families of the Tuva ring coral island group, and in the upper left corner is the British flag, representing the historical relationship between the two islands.
In 1892, Britain announced Tuvalu as a British protectorate. In 1916 it was designated the British Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony. In October, 1975, with the Gilbert legal separation, it became known as Mingtuwalu. The country established self-government in June, 1978, and October 1 gained independence.
Economy and Culture
The Tuvalu’s agriculture is poor, and it has almost no industry. Residents are primarily engaged in fishing and growing coconuts, bananas, and taro. Tuvalu is part of the Commonwealth. There are no political parties, nor an army. The Queen is head of state, and is represented by the Governor, who is appointed by the Queen or Prime Minister. In recent years, many islands have been submerged due to rising sea levels, and as such, a large number of people have emigrated to New Zealand.