U.S. Territory Flags I

Dec 9th, 2016

The United States owns islands and island groups that are not U.S. states, although they are under U.S. jurisdiction. The following islands are those territories that have their own governments.

 

American Samoa

 

American Samoa is an unincorporated territory located in the south Pacific Ocean. The President of the United States had power over all military, civil and judicial matters until 1951 when that power was delegated to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. The U.S. President is the Head of State and does not play an active role in government.

 

The flag of American Samoa was adopted in 1960 and became the official flag of the territory. The following meanings have been assigned to the design by legend:

 

·         Bald Eagle: Represents the U.S.

·         Colors: Red, white and blue represent U.S. and Samoa traditional colors.

·         Fly Whisk (clutched by an eagle): Traditional Samoan leaders wisdom.

·         War Club (clutched by an eagle): Samoa government power.

 

In the North American Vexillological Associations 2001 survey, American Samoa’s flag ranked 27th out of the 72 flags rated from Canadian Provinces and states and territories of the United States.

 

Guam

 

Guam is an unincorporated territory located in the western Pacific Ocean. Although it does have a delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives, it does not have a vote in the electoral college. Guam attempted to become a commonwealth during the 1980s and 1990s, but the request was rejected by the U.S. federal government. The version of the request submitted was not compatible with Article IV of the U.S. Constitution, Territorial Clause.

 

The United States territory of Guam adopted its flag in 1948. The center of the flag features the Guam coat of arms.

 

In the North American Vexillological Associations 2001 survey, Guam’s flag ranked 40th out of the 72 flags rated from Canadian Provinces and states and territories of the United States.

 

Northern Mariana

 

Northern Mariana Islands are a commonwealth of the United States. It is located in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Guam, the most southern island of the Mariana island chain, is a separate U.S. territory. Mariana’s commonwealth status was approved in 1975. It is represented in the U.S. Congress by a delegate, but has no voting power on the House floor. Funding for the Mariana Islands is administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs.

 

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands officially adopted its flag in 1985. The center star represents the U.S. The blue areas represent the ocean of the Marianas trench.

 

In the North American Vexillological Associations 2001 survey, Northern Mariana’s flag ranked 41st out of the 72 flags rated from Canadian Provinces and states and territories of the United States.

 

Puerto Rico

 

Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. Those born in the commonwealth are U.S. citizens, but have no voting rights in America. The citizens do have the right to vote for a governor of the territory.

 

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico officially adopted its flag in 1952. Its design is based on the 1868 “Revolutionary Flag of Lares”, a flag that was used for a very short time during the revolt against Spanish rule. The white bars represent the republican form of government.

 

In the North American Vexillological Associations 2001 survey, Puerto Rico’s flag ranked 7th out of the 72 flags rated from Canadian Provinces and states and territories of the United States. This gives it the prestige of being ranked in the top ten best flag designs.

 

Virgin Islands

 

The U.S. Virgin Islands is an unincorporated, organized territory of the United States. The islands form a border between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Those born in the territory are United States citizens, but do not have voting privileges in U.S. presidential elections.

 

The territory officially adopted its flag in 1921. It features a simple design based on the U.S. coat of arms between the letters V and I. The letters stand for Virgin Islands. The three major islands are represented by the three arrows. Those islands are St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.

 

In the North American Vexillological Associations 2001 survey, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ flag ranked 37th out of the 72 flags rated from Canadian Provinces and states and territories of the United States.

 

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