Banner o Fiji
Prior tae cedin the kintra tae Breetish rule in 1874, the government o Fiji adoptit a naitional banner featurin blue an white vertical stripes, wi in the centre a red shield depictin a white dove. This banner ceased tae be uised when the colonial era began an Fiji relinquished its unthrildom. Fiji wis a Breetish colony frae 1874 tae 1970.
The current banner o Fiji wis adoptit on 10 October 1970. The state airms hae been slichtly modified but the banner haes remained the same as durin the colonial period. It is a defaced sky-blue "Blue Ensign" (the actual Blue Ensign version o the banner is the Government ensign). It haes remained unchynged syne Fiji wis declared a republic in 1987, despite caws frae some politeecians (such as Opposition Senator Atu Emberson-Bain) for chynges.
Its bricht blue backgrund seembolizes the Paceefic Ocean, which plays an important pairt in the lives o the islanders, baith in terms o the fishin industry, an the huge tourist trade. The Union Jack reflects the kintra's links wi Great Breetain. The shield is derived frae the kintra's offeecial coat o airms, which wis oreeginally grantit bi Ryal Warrant in 1908. It is a white shield wi a red cross an a red chief (upper third o a shield). The images depictit on the shield represent agricultural activities on the islands, an the historical associations with Great Britain. At the top of the shield, a British lion holds a cocoa pod between its paws. The upper left is sugar cane, upper right is a coconut palm, the lower left a dove of peace, and the lower right a bunch of bananas.
The current flag is vera similar tae the colonial ensign used prior to independence, the main differences being the latter uised a daurker shade o blue an displayed the entire Fijian coat o airms as opposed tae juist the shield. While some reformists hae cawed for the removal o the Union Banner, seeing it a Breetish colonial emblem, ithers support its retention for the sake o historical continuity. The banners o ither independent kintras, such as Australie, New Zealand an Tuvalu retain the Union Banner in their naitional banners.
Some influential Fijians hae cawed for the restoration o the full coat o airms tae the banner. On November 30, 2005, Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs cawed for the twa warrior figures, who guard the shield on the coat o airms, tae be placed on the banner, alang wi a miniature canoe an the naitional motto, Rerevaka na kalou ka doka na tui ("Fear God an honour the queen") — seembols that wur featured on the oreeginal banner o the Kinrick o Viti, the first unified Fijian state, forged bi Seru Epenisa Cakobau in 1871.
"The coat o airms is vera significant acause it haes the wird o God, then it haes the twa warriors an the Fijian canoe an aa. A think that the cooncil members prefer that the full coat o airms be includit in the Fiji flag," said Asesela Sadole, General Secretary o the Great Cooncil o Chiefs.
Ensigns o Fiji
- High Commission of the Republic of the Fiji Islands to New Zealand - National Symbols of Fiji. "Ensigns for use in Government vessels, in merchant ships and in naval vessels are of the same basic design, but have dark blue, red and white background respectively". Accessed 2 February 2006
- Barraclough, E. M. C. and Crampton, W. G. (1978). Flags of the World. London: Frederick Warne. ISBN 0-7232-2015-8. P. 209 et seq. "The Civil Air Ensign is like that of Britain, except that it has the shield of Fiji placed on the arm of the cross."