How many stars feature on the flag of the Cook Islands?
The flag of the Cook Islands is based on the traditional design for former British colonies in the Pacific. It has a blue background with the Union Flag (the flag of the United Kingdom) in the upper left corner. On the right, a ring of fifteen white stars represent the individual islands that make up the Cook Islands. These are Tongareva, Rakahanga, Manihiki, Pukapuka, Nassau, Suwarrow, Palmers Ton, Aitutaki, Manuae, Takutea, Atiu, Mitiaro, Mauke, Rarotonga and Mangaia.
The Union Flag has featured on the flag of the Cook Islands since 1888, except for a brief period in the 1970s, when it was replaced with a green background and a circle of fifteen yellow stars. The Cook Islands were a frequent stop-off point for British travellers to Australia and New Zealand, and soon developed a British community. The Cook Islands aligned with the United Kingdom because the British residents feared it would be conquered by France.
In the early 20th century, the Cook Islands realigned with New Zealand, a former British colony. Today, they are still associated with New Zealand and are officially considered New Zealand residents. They also use the New Zealand dollar as their currency.
The Cook Islands are a group of islands in the southern Pacific. The fifteen islands have a total land surface of 240 sq. km (93 sq. mi). The largest island is Rarotonga, upon which the capital city, Avarua, is found.