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Historical Flags (Fiji)

Last modified: 2007-02-14 by ian macdonald
Keywords: fiji | rotuma | lau | star (white) | crown: royal | sunburst | rays | cross: couped (red) | coat of arms (dove) | dove | vanua |
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United Tribes of Fiji 1865-1867

[United Tribes of Fiji 1865-1867] image by Mark Sensen

On May 8th 1865 seven tribes united: Bau, Rewa, Cakaudrove, Macuata, Naduri and Lakeba, naming themselves the United Tribes of Fiji. According to the Fijian historian R.A. Derrick they used a dark blue flag with central white five-pointed star.

This information is built on contributions from Jaume Ollé and Mark Sensen, 2-3 June 1997 quoting an article in Vexilla Nostra no.164 written by Rene van den Maagdenburg.


United Tribes of Fiji 1867-1869

[United Tribes of Fiji 1867-1869] image by Jaume Ollé

The presidency was on a rotating basis, and in 1867 the chief of Lakeba would become president. This was Ma'aufu, a Tongan who remained loyal to the Tonga king. The other chiefs protested, and Cakobau together with the other chiefs of the island Viti-Levu [Great Fiji] founded a new alliance with the name: Kingdom of Bau. Cakobau was proclaimed king of Bau 2nd May 1867. The flag according to R.A. Derrick was blue with half sun in the bottom (30 rays) and the royal crown in the upper hoist (the crown image in Vexilla Nostra is very unclear). Ma'aufu was still governor of Lau and Vanua-Levu (as vassal of the King of Tonga), which was known as the Alliance of North and East Fiji and used no flag.

This information is built on contributions from Jaume Ollé and Mark Sensen, 2-3 June 1997 quoting an article in Vexilla Nostra no.164 written by Rene van den Maagdenburg.


Kingdom of Lau 1869-1871

[Kingdom of Lau 1869-1871 (Fiji)] image by Mark Sensen

Personal Flag of the King of Lau (1869-1871)

[Personal Flag of the King of Lau 1869-1871 (Fiji)] image by Mark Sensen

When the King of Tonga didn't support Ma'aufu any longer, the Kingdom of Lau was established 15th February 1869. The flag was horizontal white over red, with in the upper hoist corner a red cross. The personal flag of the king was vertical with in the upper hoist corner a white cross.

This information is built on contributions from Jaume Ollé and Mark Sensen, 2-3 June 1997 quoting an article in Vexilla Nostra no.164 written by Rene van den Maagdenburg.


United Kingdom of Fiji 1871-1874

[United Kingdom of Fiji 1871-1874] image by Jaume Ollé

On 5th June 1871 Cakobau proclaimed the United Kingdom of Fiji, joined by Ma'afu six weeks later. This kingdom used the white and blue flag until 10th October 1874 when the British took over government. The arms are derived from the Missionary Society. (Vexilla Nostra shows the arms alone on a white background but that's no flag).

This information is built on contributions from Jaume Ollé and Mark Sensen, 2-3 June 1997 quoting an article in Vexilla Nostra no.164 written by Rene van den Maagdenburg.

[United Kingdom of Fiji 1871-1874 from postage stamp] image provided by James Dignan, 5 January 2004

The flag shown by Jaume Ollé for the United Kingdom of Fiji that is different to that shown in the 1974 Fijian flag issue stamp commemorating the centenary of the deed of cession. Here is a scan of the relevant part of the stamp I refer to.
James Dignan, 5 January 2004


Vanua Flag July 2000

George Speight's coup d'etat

I was wondering if anyone has seen the flag used by supporters of the July 2000 coup d'etat leader, George Speight. I briefly saw the flag on television — it looks like a brown and orange carpet — but have not been able to locate anything else.
David Cohen
, 21 July 2000

I can't help but wonder whether this was a traditional-styled Fijian tapa cloth. It would make sense as an emblem to represent native Fijians (the coup was an attempt to reduce or remove the influence of the Indian population - which makes up 45% of the population - from the Island's government). Tapa is still made in many south Pacific nations but it is often regarded in the islands as specifically Fijian.
James Dignan, 5 January 2004

I also saw the flag lowering on television news. It was also reported by Christopher Dore, The Weekend Australian, 15th July 2000, p. 1, described as a Vanua flag and represented indigenous paramountcy. You will recall it looked like a light brown quilt with various indigenous motifs. There is a picture of the raising of this flag in the Sydney Daily Telegraph where it was incorrectly captioned as Speight supporters raising Fiji national flag. Unfortunately I saw the paper in a coffee shop and was unable to get a copy of the paper. I am unsure of the date but think it was the week of 3rd July 2000.
Ralph Kelly
, 22 July 2000

During the last Fijian elections (counting has started today), the leaders of the 2000 coup d'etat were allowed to candidate. In the BBC World website you can see symbols of the National Alliance (Ilikini Naitini) lead by the failed coup leader George Speight: the party symbol is a blue hexagram, apparently identical to the Magen David.
Jan Zrzavy
, 3 September 2001

During coup d'etat was used a green flag charged with some kind, but I don't know if was the hexagram.
Jaume Ollé
, 3 September 2001

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