Antigua & Barbuda is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State, represented locally by a governor-general.
Red, with an inverted isosceles triangle based on the top edge of the flag; the triangle contains three horizontal bands of black (top) light blue and white, with a yellow rising sun in the black band. A competition held when Antigua & Barbuda become an Associated State with the United Kingdom (1967) decided the design of the state’s flag.
The winning design comprised two outer triangles of red, to express the vigour and dynamism of the people, with the golden sun of a new era rising over three stripes of black (signifying both the soil and the people’s African heritage), blue (representing hope) and white.
The bands’ arrangement with the red triangles forms a V shape, the symbol of victory. This design also promotes the islands’ attractions: sun, sea and sand (gold, blue and white).
Antigua & Barbuda continued to use the same flag after independence.
Area: 442.6 sq. km. (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km; Redonda 1.6 sq km)
Arawak and Carib Indians populated the islands when Columbus landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early settlements by the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English who formed a colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981.
Capital: St. John’s (on Antigua)
Population: 69, 108 (July 2005 estimate)
Language: English (official); Caribbean Creole
Currency: Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar (US$1=EC$2.70, rate fixed since 1976)
Legal system: Based on English common law
Antigua & Barbuda is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), based in Saint Lucia, and consisting of a High Court of Justice and a Court of Appeal. One High Court judge of the ECSC is assigned to and a resident of the islands.