Description of the FlagOn 6 December 1999 during its conference in Papeete, French Polynesia, the Pacific Community, formerly the South Pacific Commission (SPC), adopted a new flag (sometimes described as the flag of the Pacific Community, at other times described as the flag of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community). The flag is dark blue with a centred emblem in white and light blue (also described a turquoise). The emblem resembles in part that found in the flag of the SPC. In both flags we find a circle of stars, the number corresponding to the membership in the organisation, completed by an arch. The stars, now five-pointed and in white, represents the membership states and territories, while the arch represents the secretariat (located in Nouméa, New Caledonia) which ties the countries together. At the same time the shape of the arch suggests a satellite dish, a reminder of how important communications technology is for bringing isolated islands together into a community. Inside the circle we find a new emblem consisting of sail, ocean and a coconut palm. Together, the sail and ocean symbolise "linkage and interchange," while the sail itself represents a canoe and symbolises movement and change. The coconut palm symbolises wealth. As for the colours, the idea is that the dark blue field and the white stars represent the clear night skies of the Pacific. Light blue (turquoise), used in the sail arch and the lower wave, symbolises youth and the island chains found in the region. The colours are specified in the Pantone Matching System, the reference for dark blue being PMS 293 and for light blue PMS 3125. The above is based on information supplied by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, supplemented by news reports.
The South Pacific Commission is now known as the Pacific Community. The decision to change the name came at the organization's annual meeting in Canberra, Australia, in October 1999. The major reason for the change is that a number of members are now in the North Pacific, making the use of "South" Pacific misleading. There also were critics who thought the word "commission" had too much of a colonial ring to it. The PC, which was created in 1947, has 26 member countries and territories.
Members (1996-12-01) : American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, FS Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, USA, Vanuatu,