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Useful Notes / New Caledonia

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A special collectivity of France, New Caledonia (French: Nouvelle-Calédonie) is a archipelago in Melanesia northeast of Australia. The archipelago consists of the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Chesterfield Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines, and a few remote islets, with the capital and largest city, Nouméa, being located in the south of Grande Terre.

New Caledonia is known for the native Kanak people, whose flag is one of the two official flags of the territory along with the French tricolor, and who have had a particularly nasty history with the French, with there being several violent clashes between the French government and the Kanak independence movement in the 70's and 80's until the Matignon Agreements were signed on the 26th of June, 1988, at which point stability returned to the territory. The territory was also a important allied base in World War II, with Nouméa being the headquarters of the United States Army and Navy in the South Pacific, and the fleet that marked the turn of the war in May 1942 with the Battle of the Coral Sea being based there.

The New Caledonian flag
This flag is a horizontal tricolor of blue, symbolizing both the sky and more importantly the ocean surrounding New Caledonia, red, symbolizing the blood shed by the Kanaks in their struggle for independence, unity and socialism, and green, symbolizing the land itself and by extension the ancestors buried within it, charged with a yellow disc fibrated black, representing the sun, with a flèche faitière defaced on it, a kind of arrow that adorns the roofs of Kanak houses thrust through tutut shells.


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