Map of Guam | Guam Flag Facts | Should I visit Guam?
Known for its rich culture, history and their strategic military and economic position between Asia and North America, Guam also has a lot of beauty to offer. This little island can be your next getaway to a place that feels like a different world. Oceania is full of countries that are not only beautiful but so rich in culture with warm and welcoming people that are not found everywhere. Get to know more about Guam for your trip so you can experience it like a native!
Map of Guam
Is Guam part of the Philippines?
After the Spanish colonization, exiled Filipinos started coming to Guam. Later after the Spanish American war of 1898, Filipino engineers were contacted by the US to rebuild the island. Along with other Pacific islanders, Chamorros and Filipinos share similar indigenous culture, linguistics and colonial histories. In 1941, the Japanese occupied the Philippines and Guam. Despite sharing very similar cultural and political history especially with a lot of Filipinos moving to Guam, Guam is still not considered to be a part of the Philippines.
What is Guam’s relationship to the United States?
Guam is a representative government having indirect democracy. It is an organized unincorporated territory of the US which means that the people there despite being a part of the US do not have voting rights when it comes to presidential elections. Guam’s economy greatly depends on the US and their association with the US helps with Guam’s reputation as a Japanese tourist destination. With how the US has helped Guam after the Second World War, the Guamanian population has really good relations with the US and often keeps the US in high regard.
Guam Flag Facts
The flag of Guam was designed by Mrs Helen L. Paul and was officially adopted by Governor Roy C. Smith on February 9, 1948. Each Guam municipality has its own flag. There are a total of 19 municipal flags that were made with the assistance of Gerard Aflague, an illustrative artist who is also a Guam native.
Colors of Guam Flag
Guam has a unique flag with vibrant colors. The background or the field is of dark blue color with a bright red border. There is a red-bordered ellipse in the center. The ellipse contains a brown boat with a white sail with a light blue sky and a dark blue sea. There is a grey cliff in the background and yellow foreground and a coconut.
Guam Flag Meaning
The Chamorros initially did not use any flags and there was no flag of Guam back when it was ruled by Spain. The red border represents the blood that was shed during World War II. The ellipse is basically a coat of arms, it makes up an almond shape. It depicts a proa (small boat with a white sail) in Agana Bay. There is GUAM written in the middle of it all. The shape of the emblem symbolizes the stones that were used by the islanders’ ancestors. The cliff at the back represents Punta Dos Amantes cliff.
According to the last census in 2010, the recorded population of Guam was 159,358 and now the estimated population is 168,485. The people living in Guam are American citizens by birth. The biggest city in terms of population is Dededo and the capital is Hagatna. Indigenous Guamanians are known as Chamorros that have roots that join with the Austronesian people of Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines. The people themselves are very welcoming and friendly of the tourists. They have a rich culture with great cuisine. Their diet mostly contains fish, rice, taro, breadfruit etc. The local form of art is Pottery that is widely practiced and mastered by the people of Guam.
Guam has two official languages, English and Chamorro. Chamorro is an Austronesian language that is not only spoken by the people of Guam but also by the people of Marianas. Languages in the Oceania region are mostly Polynesian or Micronesian, unlike Chamorro. Before the Spanish-American war, 75% of the population was literate but after a century, the speakers of Chamorro have drastically decreased with overall decreased fluency in the language.
Interesting Facts About Guam
Guam is full of rich history and culture but the place itself has a lot of interesting factors that are not commonly seen in many other regions and countries. Here are some of them
- The coral reefs contribute more than $20 million to Guam’s economy.
- A well-known slogan of Guam is “Where the American day begins” since Guam is the first place where the sun shines on the U.S. soil.
- It is the nearest U.S. soil to Asia which explains a large number of Asian tourists because the minimum duration of a flight to Guam is only 3.5 hours.
- Catholics; Christianity is widely followed in Guam with 85% of the population being catholic.
- When dining out, you don’t usually have to tip because the tips are adjusted in the bill so it is neither expected nor encouraged.
Should I visit Guam?
Guam is your perfect island getaway with offering everything that you could possibly ever imagine without breaking your bank like Hawaii. With the weather almost always perfect for beaches, Guam can be your go-to island spot to wash away those worldly worries. Here are a few things that you can do in Guam
- Ritidian Point; With white sand beaches and clear waters, Ritidian point also has Guam National Wildlife Refuge which not just has current refuge wildlife but also the remnants of the ancient Chamorro culture.
- Magellan Monument; the monument pays respect to Ferdinand Magellan for exploring the island and putting it on the map.
- Fish Eye Marine Park; nothing like you’ve experienced before, the top deck of the park offers the view of the ocean and the mountain ranges but below the sea level are 24 windows that allow the tourists and visitors to see over 200 species of marine life that is found in Guam’s waters and the coral reef surrounding it.