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Tonga

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

Home> Countries> Oceania> Tonga




Country Name

Tonga, or officially named the Kingdom of Tonga.


Location

Tonga is a Polynesian country and also an archipelago consisting of 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. It is surrounded by Fiji and Wallis and Futuna (France) to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, Niue to the east (which is the nearest foreign territory), Kermadec (part of New Zealand) to the southwest, and New Caledonia (France) and Vanuatu to the farther west. It is about 1,800 kilometers (1,100 mi) from New Zealand's North Island.


Capital

Nukuʻalofa.​



Reason for Naming the country

In many Polynesian languages, including Tongan, the word tonga comes from fakatonga, which means "southwards", as the archipelago is the southernmost group of the islands of central Polynesia.



Flag

The Tongan flag originated in the 1860s and was adopted on November 4, 1875, making it one of the world's oldest flags.

The flag of Tonga consists of a red background with a white square in the upper left corner. There is a red cross centered on the white square.

The red cross represents the country's belief in Christianity.

The white represents purity, and

the red represents the blood Jesus shed at his crucifixion and reminds Tonga's people that they owe their salvation to him.


*Flag Facts:

The flag of Tonga has the same cross as the flag of Switzerland.



Language

The Tongan language is the official language, along with English.

Tongan is a Polynesian language of the Austronesian family and is closely related to the Samoan language of the same family.

Most of the English language speakers are located in towns.