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3274 1823

Western and Samoa Flag

New Zealand occupied the German protectorate of Western Samoa at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It continued to administer the islands as a mandate and then as a trust territory until 1962, when the islands became the first Polynesian nation to re-establish independence in the 20th century. The country dropped the "Western" from its name in 1997.

The flag of Samoa was first adopted in 1948, with the Southern Cross consisting of four stars, but this was amended a year later, in 1949, to five stars. The Southern Cross in the canton is used to signify Samoa's link with New Zealand (The city of Auckland in New Zealand has the largest Samoan population in the Pacific outside of Samoa). Red and white were traditionally used in Samoan flags, but now the red is said to represent the blood shed in the independence struggle, blue to represent national unity and white to represent purity.

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