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Kingman Reef (U.S. Minor Outlying Islands)

Last modified: 2019-10-14 by ian macdonald
Keywords: kingman reef |
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[United States Flag] image by Joseph McMillan

Unofficial flag
[Unofficial Flag of Kingman Reef] image by Skip Wheeler

[Unofficial Flag of Kingman Reef] image by Skip Wheeler

ISO Code: UM-89
ISO 3166-3 Code: PUUM
FIPS 10-4 Code: KQ
MARC Code: up
IOC Code: Not Applicable
Status: unincorporated territory of the United States

See also:

Located in the Pacific Ocean near the Line Islands, 920 miles south of Hawaii. Kingman Reef was annexed by the United States in 1922 and was an experimental aviation station between 1934 and 1938. The island has an area of 1 km2. The highest elevation is 1 meter above sea level.

The unofficial flag would be accepted as a flag of these possessions but in digital form only.
John Moody, 2 March 2018

The flag is described in NAVA News, 208, 2010 and Flaggen, Wappen und Siegel 118, 2017.
Esteban Rivera, 5 March 2018

The flag of Kingman Reef was designed by a sailor who volunteered at the USS Arizona Memorial. To quote Skip Wheeler, he (the designer) originally used the hammer head shark but changed it to a black fin shark that is native to the waters surrounding the reef. Also the lower grey band was originally a moss green but the sailor was uncertain if the reef wasn't just rock, so he substituted the green with a grey.
"The flag is a two colour with the upper two thirds being an aquamarine representing the colour of the reefs water and a medium grey covering the lower third of the flag. In the middle of the design is a native black fin shark".

There have been a number of versions of this flag that have been put forward. The first version of the Kingman Reef featured a black fin shark facing the flag in natural form. The flag was placed in the middle of the blue band of an unequal horizontal bicolour of aquamarine blue over moss green. The second version of the flag reversed the direction of the black fin shark toward the hoist. The third and final version of this flag had the bottom horizontal strip changed from moss green to grey. The black fin shark was changed to a more cartoon form, the cartoon version of the shark was designed with the assistance of vexillologist Roman Klimes. Two further versions of the Kingman Reef flag were proposed.

Jurisdiction of Kingman Reef was passed from the United States Navy to the Fish and Wildlife office in Honolulu in 2001. The terrorist attack on September the 11th 2001 was a terrible time and the Fish and Wildlife office did not want to get involved with the flag project with the government being bombarded with security measures at that time. So the Kingman Reef flag did not proceed at that time.

With a change of superintendent at the Fish and Wildlife service office in Honolulu Skip Wheeler sent an email to the new superintendent to see if there had been a change of heart on their part regarding the introduction of flags for Baker/Howland and Jarvis Islands along with that of Kingman Reef. This occurred in early 2017. On Friday March 24th Skip received an email from the superintendent stating the her offices (A.U.S.A Federal Agency) has given their approval to release the other two flags (Baker/Howland/Jarvis and Kingman Reef) strictly on an unofficial bases. An official date of approval was stated of July 4th 2017 but unfortunately this did not prove to be the case. Further correspondence with the superintendent Laura McMarlin-Beauregard stated, "why should they the (Fish and Wildlife service) make an official announcement for a flag that is considered to be unofficial?"
Skip further stated that the Fish and Wildlife service "Just wanted digital copies of their flag designs to add to their archives". "This means no flags need to be manufactured and no announcement needs to be made". Skip again further stated that "I assume that the flags of the Department of the Interior (which the Fish and Wildlife service is a sub-agency and will continue to symbolize the four islands (at the USS Arizona memorial).

In short digital copies of the flags only no "hard copy" flags will be produced. However these flags have gained a certain currency by appearing on the Flags of the World site under (U.S. minor outlying Islands). The flags also appear on Roberto Breschi's site "Piccole Isole Del Pacifico". Also Ben Cahoon's "Worlds Statesmen" site in which he has these flags as having been "adapted 4th July 2017, unofficial". The common flag of Baker/Howland/Jarvis Island along with the flag of Kingman Reef have gained recognition all be it unofficial. Let us hope at some stage in the future these flags will be represented in hard copy form at the U.S.S Arizona Memorial.
John Moody, 15 September 2019