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THE  MARSHALL ISLANDS  WERE CLAIMED BY SPAIN AS PART OF SPANISH Oceania. In 1874 the Spanish sovereignty was recognized by the international community. They were sold to Germany in 1884 through papal mediation.

A German trading company settled on the islands in 1885. They became part of the protectorate of German New Guinea some years later.

On September 29, 1914, Japanese troops occupied the atoll of Enewetak, and on September 30, 1914 the atoll of Jaluit the administrative center of the Marshall Islands. After the war, on June 28, 1919, Germany renounced all of its Pacific possessions, including the Marshall Islands. On December 17, 1920, the Council of the League of Nations approved the mandate for Japan to take over all former German colonies in the Pacific Ocean, located north of the equator. The administrative center of the Marshall Islands atoll remained Jaluit.

In World War II, the United States, during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, invaded and occupied the islands (1944) destroying or isolating the Japanese garrisons. The archipelago was added to the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, along with several other island groups in the South Sea.

On 1 May 1979 the territory was granted autonomy and the Goverment of the Marshall Islands was officially established. It became a sovereign state, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, on 28. December 1990.


The Seal



The seal shows a bird, wings expanded, symbolizing the Angel of Peace. It is surrounded by (clockwise):

1. A 24-pointed star, of which 21 rays represent the municipalties of the Republic and of which four longer rays represent the four sub-centers of Majuro (the capital), Jaluit, Wotje, and Kwajalein Atolls. Between:

2. Two orange and white parted triangles from the national flag, the orange symbolizing bravery, the white symbolizing peace. The triangles also symbolize the two ranges of atolls, the Ratak (Sunrise-) and Ralik (Sunset-) ranges.

3. A fishing net symbolizing the main food of the people of the Marshall Islands

4. An ourigger canoe.

5. A listel with the word ‘SEAL’

6. An atoll with palm trees

7. A pestle made of a giant clam (Tridacna gigas). This kind of pestle is cherished by every family of the Marshall Islands and is used to crush pandanus leaves for making mats, sails and clothing.


The central part is surrounded by a bordure bearing the legend GOVERNMENT OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS  and JEPILKILIN KE EJUKAAN, the motto meaning: Accomplisment Through Joint Effort.

Around all is a chain symbolizing the unity of the islands, one half representing  the Ratak range, the other half the Ralik range. [1]


The seal is in blue and golden rendering as shown. A modern, coloured version shows the field blue, the charges brown and white, the chain gold. In this version the sun has only 18 rays, two of them longer.

đSee illustration in the head of this essay.


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© Hubert de Vries 2009-11-23


[1]) rmigovernment.org/about_your_government.jsp?d... which also remarks:  A person who uses the seal or a representation of it, or anything that so resembles the seal as to be calculated to deceive or advertise or promote any commercial purposes, or for any purpose whatsoever without the permission of the Cabinet, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $500 and no more than $2500, a term of imprisonment of not less that 6 months nor more than one year or both. Each individual use of the seal shall be considered a separate offense.


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