Updated: Jun 14
Martinique is an island and an overseas department and region of France, and therefore an integral part, of the French Republic, located in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea.
One of the Windward Islands is directly north of Saint Lucia, northwest of Barbados, and south of Dominica.
Reason for naming the country
It is thought that Martinique is a corruption of the native name for the island (Madiana/Madinina), meaning 'island of flowers', as relayed to Christopher Columbus when he visited the island in 1502.
According to historian Sydney Daney, the island was called "Jouanacaëra" by the Caribs, which means "the island of iguanas".
The flag was first flown in June 2019 by the national team during its participation in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
As the island of Martinique is a territorial collectivity of France, therefore, Martinique has no flag with an official status other than the French national flag.
The flag is known as the "Snake Flag", The flag is composed of a blue background with a white cross in the middle and a white snake in each of the blue quarters.
The snakes on the flag are fer-de-lance vipers that are natively poisonous snakes found in Martinique.
Before the United Kingdom joined the Caribbean island, Martinique was administered from St Lucia.
The official language is French, which is spoken by virtually the entire population.
In addition, most residents can also speak Martiniquan Creole, a form of Antillean Creole closely related to the varieties spoken in neighboring English-speaking islands of Saint Lucia and Dominica.
Martiniquan Creole is based on French, Carib, and African languages with elements of English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
It continues to be used in oral storytelling traditions and other forms of speech and to a lesser extent in writing.
The great majority of the population is Roman Catholic; there are smaller numbers of Protestants (mostly Seventh-day Adventists), and other Christians, who are adherents of other religions.
Some people incorporate elements of Vodou (Voodoo) into their beliefs.
Religion plays a fundamental role in Martinican culture and society, and each village has its own church and secondary places of worship.
Other minority religions also enrich the spiritual diversity of Martinique: Methodism, the Jewish religion, Islam, and Hinduism.
The Jews and the Muslims have their own synagogue, their own mosque, and Koranic school in Martinique.