The Co-operative Republic of Guyana is a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Guyanese flag was designed to reflect the country’s physical attributes and the qualities of its people. On a green field, representing the country’s agriculture and forests, there is a red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist), fimbriated in black. The red represents the energy of the people in building a new country; the black perseverance. The red triangle is superimposed on a long, gold triangle spanning the fly, fimbriated in white. The gold symbolises the mineral wealth and the country’s forward thrust; the white fimbriation symbolises the rivers. The flag was adopted in 1966, the same year Guyana achieved its independence.
Guyana is situated in northern South America, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Suriname, Venezuela and Brazil. When Europeans first arrived in the region circa 1500, Guyana was mostly inhabited by Arawaks and Caribs. It was not settled by Europeans until 1616, by the Dutch. The 3 separate Dutch colonies of Essequibo, Demarara and Berbice were ceded to the British in 1814. It 1831, the 3 colonies were united under the name of British Guiana. The abolition of slavery in 1834 led to black settlement of urban areas and the importation of indentured servants from India, Madeira, China and elsewhere to work the sugar plantations. Guyana achieved independence from the UK on 26 May 1966, and became a republic on 23 February 1970.
Area: 214, 970 sq. km.
Population: 767,245 (July 2006 proj. estimate)
Language: English (official), Amerindian dialects, Caribbean Creole, Hindi
Currency: Guyana dollar (US$1=GYD$200)
Legal system: based on English common law with certain admixtures of Roman-Dutch law. Along with Barbados, Guyana has acceded to the Caribbean Court of Justice as its final Appellate Court.