Palau is an island nation in the region of Micronesia (do not confuse with Federated States Of Micronesia
, they don’t like it).
Like many other territories of the area, the islands passed between Spanish, German, Japanese and American control. When under administration of the latter, they decided to not join the Federated States Of Micronesia
. Their independence was recognized in 1994.
Originally in English the country's name was spelled "Pelew". In 1783 the British ship Antelope
was shipwrecked on the island, but the people helped the British repair it. In gratitude, its captain Henry Wilson agreed to bring back the king's son, Prince Le Boo, to visit Britain—unfortunately he died soon afterwards of smallpox, but it was one of the first introductions of Europeans to Pacific culture.
The economy of the islands depends on fishing, agriculture and tourism. They have the first constitution free of nuclear tests in the world and they’re planning to be also the first country to protect sharks in their waters.
Media-wise, the country is the location of the filming of the film Hell In The Pacific
(starring Toshiro Mifune
and Lee Marvin
); also, two seasons of Survivor
were filmed here, including the fan-favorite Survivor: Micronesia
. The country is also mentioned in a song of Enya
The Palauan Flag
The sky blue field represents the Pacific Ocean, while the off-center light-yellow disc represents the reflection of the full moon, which Palauans consider a good omen.