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Useful Notes / Wallis and Futuna

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Wallis and Futuna (French: Wallis-et-Futuna), officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands (French: Territoire des îles Wallis-et-Futuna; Fakafutuna and Fakauvea: Uvea mo Futuna), are a French overseas collectivity in the South Pacific. The most populous island of the territory and the location of the capital and largest city, Mata-Utu, is the Wallis Island (Uvea) in the northeast, with the smaller Futuna Island and the mostly uninhabited Alofi Island being located in the southwest as the Hoorn Islands.

The territory was first settled by the French in 1837, with Wallis Island being named after British explorer Samuel Wallis and the Hoorn Islands after the Dutch town of Hoorn. It became a French protectorate under the authority of New Caledonia in 1887 and 1888 after the Queen of Uvea and the Kings of Alo and Sigave in Alofi and Futuna signed treaties, and was annexed by France and became a colony in 1917. The inhabitants of the islands later voted to become a French overseas territory in 1959, separating from New Caledonia's subordination and becoming their own territory.

The culture of the territory is very similar to Samoa and Tonga, sharing very similar components in language, dance, cuisine and modes of celebration. Deforestation due to the use of wood as the main fuel source for the territory is a huge problem, with the mountainous terrain of Futuna being prone to erosion, and only 5% of the territory's land being arable.


The Wallisian/Futunan flag
While the French tricolor is the official flag of the territory, this flag also sees local use. It features a red saltire on a white square, which in turn is placed on a red field (alternatively, a larger white cross pattée is used). The cross is shifted a little off center toward the fly (the cross pattée is also shifted slightly downwards), with the flag of France outlined in white on two sides in the upper hoist quadrant.


Example of: