The Maldives, or officially the Republic of Maldives.
The Maldives is a small island nation in South Asia, situated in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean.
Reason for Naming
The first Kingdom of the Maldives was known as Dheeva Maari. The name Maldives may also derive from Sanskrit mālā (garland) and dvīpa (island), or Maala Divaina ("Necklace Islands") in Sinhala. The Maldivian people are called Dhivehin. The word Dheeb/Deeb (archaic Dhivehi, related to Sanskrit द्वीप, dvīpa) means "island", and Dhives (Dhivehin) means "islanders" (i.e., Maldivians).
The current flag was adopted on 25 July 1965. The first use of the flag design was in 1926.
The flag consists of Red, green and white colors. The background is red containing a green rectangle with a white crescent facing the flag side.
The red color represents the boldness of the nation's heroes, and their willingness to sacrifice every drop of blood in defense of their country. The green color represents peace and prosperity.
The white crescent moon represents the Islamic faith of the state and authorities.
The official and common language are Dhivehi or Maldivian. (an Indo-Aryan language closely related to the Sinhala language of Sri Lanka.) Although the country has several other dialects, which include Mulaku, Huvadhu, Maliku, and Addu, Dhivehi remains the dominant language in the Maldives. English is widely spoken by the locals of the Maldives. Following the nation's opening to the outside world, the introduction of English as a medium of instruction at the secondary and tertiary level of education, and its government's recognition of the opportunities offered through tourism, English has now firmly established itself in the country.
Islam is the official religion of the Maldives. It replaced Buddhism as the country’s predominant religion after the 12th century. Freedom of religion is officially non-existent in the Maldives as all citizens of the country are required to be Muslims. The law of the country prohibits its citizens from practicing any other religion than Islam. The President of the country must be Muslim. Non-Muslims cannot vote or be granted citizenship in the Maldives. Non-Muslims cannot influence the Maldivians to convert to other religions nor practice their own religions in public. Citizens who deny Islam in the country can be subjected to capital punishment.