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Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands
It is a small country in Polynesia, located in the Pacific Ocean, situated in Oceania and about midway between Hawaii and Australia.
The island country lies east-northeast of the Santa Cruz Islands -
Wallis and Futuna, and north of Fiji.
Reason for naming the country
The country was renamed Tuvalu, an old name meaning 'eight standing together' (Tuvalu has nine islands or island groups, but one has very little land above sea level).
The Flag of Tuvalu was adopted in 1997.
The first use of the current flag design was in 1978.
The last change to the current Tuvalu flag design was in 1997.
Tuvalu gained independence from Britain on October 1, 1978.
The Tuvalu flag is a field with nine stars and the flag of the United Kingdom in the left corner.
The used colors in the flag are blue, red, yellow, white.
The British Union Jack represents the country's ties to Britain.
The nine stars represent the nine islands of Tuvalu and reproduce their geographical appearance on a map, with the top of the flag being East and the left side is north.
English is one of the country's official languages.
It is taught in schools, as well as it is used to communicate with foreigners.
The language is also commonly used in business settings.
Tuvaluan is the most common language spoken in Tuvalu. It is used alongside English in official documents and by governmental organizations. The language is closely linked to Polynesian languages such as Samoan, Hawaiian, Tongan, and Tahitian.
Christianity is the predominant religion in Tuvalu.
In particular, the majority of Tuvalu's population are Protestant Christians. More than 91% of Protestant Christians in Tuvalu are members of the Church of Tuvalu, 3% are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and about 4.6% belong to the Brethren Church.
There is also a small population of Roman Catholics in Tuvalu.
Tuvalu also has small populations of adherents of Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and other religions.
Most adherents of these religions live in or near the capital city of Funafuti. There are also atheist populations in Tuvalu.
Australian dollar (AUD)
Unitary non-partisan parliamentary constitutional monarchy.
Tuvalu has an equatorial climate, is hot, humid, and rainy throughout the year.
The rains, occurring in the form of monsoons of thunderstorms, can be intense, but usually do not last long, and do not greatly reduce the hours of sunshine.
Temperatures are very stable, around 25 °C (77 °F) at night and 31 °C (88 °F) during the day.
The trade winds blow all year round, but especially in the period from April to October, tempering a little the heat.
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