Wake Island is a small island located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. The island is East of Guam and West of Honolulu. It is officially recognized as a territory of the United States of America. Due to it’s isolated location and lack of fresh water, Wake Island has remained largely unpopulated for most of it’s history.
As a territory, Wake Island has no officially recognized flag. Instead it is represented by the flag of the United States. However, an unofficial flag is often used and has become fairly well recognized.
This flag references it’s association with the United States of America through the use of the familiar red, white, and blue color combination. However these three colors are reorganized. Instead, blue dominates the far left section, top to button forming a triangular wedge. The point of this wedge is where the two stripes, white on top and red below, are separated.
The most significant image on the flag is that of a large yellow circle set in the center of the blue section. This circle, reminiscent of a coin or medallion, is emblazoned with a rough map of the island done in blue. Wake Island is written on the top and bottom of this disk in capital letters as well, also in blue. The flag also incorporates another element from the American flag, the presence of stars. The yellow circle is surrounded by three stars. These stars are also yellow in color and each one has five points. The stars are set on the top, bottom, and right side of the circle.
This unofficial version of the flag has been in use at least since the year 2001.
Control of Wake Island was transferred to the United States as part of a peace treaty at the end of the Spanish American War. Before then it was property of the Spanish Crown, undisputed because of the island’s very limited value. Despite it’s limited importance, Wake Island and the surrounding area have been the site of significant conflict, particularly between America and Japan during the second World War. This many contribute to the flag’s strongly nationalistic tones.