The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State, represented locally by a governor-general.
A black equilateral triangle against the hoist superimposed on a horizontal background made up of two colours in three equal stripes, aquamarine, gold and aquamarine.
Black, a strong colour, represents the vigour and force of a united people; the triangle pointing represents the enterprise and determination of the Bahamian people to develop and process the rich resources of land and sea, symbolised by gold and aquamarine, respectively.
When Columbus first made landfall in the New World on “San Salvador” in 1492, Arawak Indians inhabited the islands, which the British began to settle in 1647, the islands becoming a colony of the Crown in 1783. The Bahamas became an independent state in the Commonwealth of Nations in 1973. The prosperous Bahamian economy is based on tourism, international banking and investment management.
Area: 13,940 sq. km.
Capital: Nassau (on New Providence Island)
Population: 303, 770 (July 2006 proj. estimate)
Language: English (official); Caribbean Creole
Currency: Bahamian dollar (US$1=Bah$1)
Legal system: Based on English common law.
The Bahamas is not a signatory to the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice.