History of the Tonga flag

Tonga flag: This is a brief history of the flag, it origins and why it was chosen to represent the country. 

The Flag of Tonga

Tonga has a unique flag that is characterized by its unique red field. The background is dominated by red color. On the left side of this flag, you are going to find the red couped cross with white background. The red cross symbol has a smaller size compared to the whole size of this flag.


This flag was first adopted in 1875 after being enshrined in the nation’s constitution. Since that period, this flag has already been considered as the official flag of the Kingdom of Tonga. According to the constitution, the flag will never be changed forever.


Design of the Tonga Flag

The colors and symbols from the Tonga flag represent a lot of things around this country. The design will represent the political, cultural, and also regional meaning. The red couped cross on the left side of this flag will represent Christianity as the main religion in this place. This religion is practiced by more than 90% of the population.

The white color from the flag emphasizes the purity of people around the Tonga area. The red color from the flag evokes and emphasize the sacrifice of Christ’s blood during his Crucifixion. The design is specially created to make a strong visual look and represent Christianity as its main religion.

When you look at the other countries, you will find some other flags with similarities to the flag from Tonga. The previous design of the Tonga flag featured a red field with a red couped cross. The design of this flag is believed to be identical to the emblem of the International Red Cross organization.

Because of this reason, the flag of Tonga was set to have the canton of the red field. Everything that occurred in the past lead to the present design of this flag. The current flag of Tonga has some similarities with any flags from Georgia and Switzerland.

If you are looking for the best history about the Tonga flag, you may want to take a look at some varieties that are available on the market today. Different government-related organizations in Tonga will use their own flags every day. Tonga also has some different flags for its navy, army, and also royal standards.

Some examples of Tonga flags include the Coat of Arms, Royal Standards, Naval Ensign, and the flag of the official Tonga Defense Services. The different organizations have their own flag designs and characteristics.

It is very easy for you to find this flag in any area in the country. Sometimes, you may be able to find this Tonga flag on the outside areas of the houses, as decorations on the buildings and cars, and also around the Capital City of Tonga, Nuku’alofa.

The flag is also used in many different locations during the King’s birthday. You can also find some printed banners that are available around the Kingdom. The flag is used to give respect to the King of Tonga.

History of Tonga Flag

The British arrived in Tonga in the late period of the 18th century. Captain James Cook visited the islands at least three times between 1773 and 1777. Fifty years later after that period, Wesleyan Methodist missionaries from the United Kingdom came to Tonga.  They started to convert the islanders to believe in God in a Christianity way. In 1831, they were able to convert the paramount chief, Taufa’ahau Tupou.

He became the first king of Tonga as King George Tupou I in 1845. At that time, the first Tongan flag was used. This flag had a white field with a visible cross symbol with all four corners. The letters “A” and “M” were located at the center of the flag. Both characters were used to symbolize the king.

The King tried to find a new design for the nation’s flag after his accession to the throne. He would like to find a good flag that would represent Christianity. He had a good friend called Shirley Waldemar Baker. He was a member of the Tongan mission who became the Prime Minister of Tonga. Both persons worked together for finding the best formula for making a new flag, national anthem, and also the coat of arms for Tonga country.

This new design had the British Red Ensign. Its three-quarters of the flag had a simple red field. There was a simple distinctive character in the upper hoist section. This first flag was used in this country around 1866. After a few years, a new constitution for the Tonga Kingdom was formulated and also proclaimed on November 4th, 1875. This constitution had already been able to codify the new flag design.

It also emphasized this even when the flag was adopted as the first official national flag. When you look at Article 47 from the constitution, you may be able to find a strong statement saying that the flag will never be altered or changed. The flag should always be the official flag of Tonga.



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