Tristan da Cunha


The Tristan da Cunha archipelago is managed as part of the British Overseas Territories of Saint Helena, in the southern half of the Atlantic Ocean, and since 20th October 2002 has its own flag.

Like the territories associated with the former British Empire, it is a blue ensign that shows the Union Jack in the canton and the shield of the island in the right half. The most notable symbols are the azur (blue) and silver (white) albatrosses inside the shield and the lobsters on the flanks, which associate the marine nature of Tristan da Cunha; and next to them in the upper part a medieval helmet, a sailboat and the crown of the Royal Navy.

The history of Tristan da Cunha began with its homonymous discoverer Tristão da Cunha, a Portuguese commander and explorer who, in one of his expeditions, was the first to see the island and include it in the maps of the time in 1506.

However, Dutch and English are those who occupied the island with scientific reasons first, and strategic ones later. The British Empire claimed the island in 1876 and becomes part of the overseas dependency of Saint Helena, establishing a small population in the only settlement on the island: Edinburgh of the Seven Seas.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the archipelago lost much of its economic activity due to the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which enabled a new faster route for trade between Asia and Europe.

In 1961 the eruption of the Queen Mary’s volcano forced the evacuation of the island and the almost 300 inhabitants were refugees in Southampton, in the south of England. Finally, families were able to return to their homes in 1963.

The motto that prays under the shield is a faithful reflection of Tristan’s history: “Our Faith is our strength.”