Thursday, December 29, 2016

Jarvis, Baker, & Howland Island Flags a Flying

Baker, Jarvis, and Howland Islands have richly colourful flags.  Far off in the South Pacific, these isles are home to no one, currently.  But there were attempts at colonization in the early 1900s, and they were attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy during WWII.

Unlike the other 50 States of America, Baker and Howland Islands were uninhabited and discovered by Americans.  In the same year the US flag became codified by law into its modern design, 1818, Baker Island was discovered by Captain Elisha Folger from Nantucket.  Note that Folger is the Maiden-Mitochondrial name of Benjamin Franklin.

In 1822 Captain George B. Worth, also from Nantucket, sighted Baker Island, and was smart enough to document the event. Most likely there were other mariners, European and South Pacific Islanders, who sighted and may have even landed on these islands but they never recorded the event, or it was lost in the watery wake of time.

Jarvis Island was not discovered by an American, but rather by the British.  On August 21, 1821 the HMS Eliza Frances sighted the lonely island.  In 1858 Minnesota's temporal twin down under was formally annexed on February 17, 1858.  Remember that Minnesota was made a state on May 11, 1858.  Thus it is fitting that Minnesota does indeed have a slightly older twin of sorts.  Likewise Minnesota has a small slice of her territory above the United 48, in accord Jarvis is a small part of America just below the equator.
Jarvis Island is closest to the continent of North America, yet is south of the Equator.  But Howland and Baker Islands are closest to the continent of Australia, yet are north of the Equator.  Consequently Jarvis Island is the part of America Down Under, while Howland and Baker Island are a part of Australia, yet are up and over.

These precious new lands were legally made a part of the USA just before the start of the US Civil War with the 1856 US Guano Act. 

image source:

No comments:

Post a Comment