November 16 – Flag Day in Sint Eustatius

Posted on November 16, 2018

This is a pretty cool flag. It looks like a flag for an island, given the fact that the central diamond, with its green hills, is surrounded by blue.

And guess what?

This flag IS for an island: the island of Sint Eustatius.

Sint Eustatius formally adopted their flag, which was designed by Zuwena Suares, on this date in 2004.

The island, which is known to locals as Statia, is in the Caribbean. It's a part of the Netherlands, being considered a "special municipality."

Here are some interesting facts about Sint Eustatius:

  • Even though this island is tiny, a lot of European nations wanted to claim it. I think part of its allure was that it was uninhabited (so no natives fought off the Europeans), and part of it was that it had several harbors. Certainly part of it was its location - sort of smack-dab in the middle of the archipelago of the Caribbean Islands. Since Christopher Columbus first spotted the island in 1493, it changed hands 21 times!!

  • Check out  this earlier post for an interesting story of why this tiny island was so important in U.S. history.

  • The capital city is Oranjestad, which sounds pretty darned Dutch to me. And the official language is Dutch, which makes sense (since it is a part of the Netherlands).

    But the everyday language everyone speaks is English! And the creole language that is spoken by many is based on English. And the main airport is named after U.S. President F. D. Roosevelt.
Sint Eustatius was sometimes called an
"abominable nest of pirates." 
  • Sint Eustatius had a reputation for being neutral - but also rather lawless. It was near Danish, British, French, and Spanish territories, and it ignored the trade restrictions of all of these nations. Also, it was a "free port" that assessed no customs duties. Because of that, the island became a center of trade and wealth.

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