Young Pioneer Tours

The Flag of Tonga

The wonderful flag of Tonga represents the Kingdom at international events; here’s everything you need to know about the Tonga flag.

I was recently lucky enough to visit Tonga for the first time as part of our Least Visited Countries Tour and largely fell in love with the place, notwithstanding the few days I was stranded there due to a typhoon.

I’m also a Rugby League fan, so when I saw a Tongan Rugby League Shirt adorned with the flag of Tonga, I obviously purchased it, but this set me to wondering what the Tongan flag was all about! Here’s the story.

The flag of Tonga consists of a red field with a white canton charged with a red cross. It was adopted in 1875 after being officially enshrined into the nation’s constitution. The constitution actually stipulates that the national flag can never be changed, although if republicans ever get their way, you’d assume that might change.

History of the Flag of Tonga

When Captain Cook first came to the island, they did not have all that much use for a national flag, then, of course, the Christians came along and started to convert people en masse to the cause of Christ. The current flag thus came into being, with its obviously Christian connotations in 1875.

What does the flag mean?

Well, as mentioned, the cross represents Christianity, the white represents purity, and the red the blood of Jesus.

The Tongan flag looks really familiar have I seen it before?

The flag of Tonga bears more than a passing resemblance to that of the International Red Cross. In fact, the original flag looked so similar to the Red Cross one (which was made in 1863) that current adaptation was adopted.

The current flag also looks a bit that of Switzerland and Georgia.

Are there any variants on the flag of Tonga?

Yes, there’s the Naval Ensign and Royal Standard as pictured below:

That is the story of Tonga’s Flag!