We were sitting on the deck of the Front Street Grill in Beaufort NC, our favorite July restaurant, and an immense single-masted sailboat went by on its engines. We couldn’t make out its name or home port. It’s ensign was either this:
The flag of Bermuda. Or this:
The flag of the Canadian province of Ontario.
I know that because I quickly Googled “British Commonwealth flags,” and those were the two candidates among the search results.
We got more interested, however, in this flag:
The flag of Niue.
We’d never heard of it either. Here’s where it is:
Here are some landscape vignettes from the official tourism page:
This is a chunk of Wikipedia:
In 2003, Niue became the first country in the world to offer free wireless internet to all its inhabitants. Niue Island Organic Farmers Association is currently paving way to an MEA (Multilateral Environmental Agreement) committed to making Niue the world’s first fully organic nation. A leader in green growth, Niue is also transitioning to solar power, with help from the European Union. In 2015, Niue started providing phone landlines to all of its inhabitants. In 2008, Niue became the first country in the world where laptops are provided to all its school students. A highly democratic nation, Niueans enjoy high freedom, with elections every 3 years. There are no political parties in Niue; all assembly members are independents. The last political party, Niue People’s Party (1987–2003), won once, but was subsequently disbanded in 2003.
In January 2004, Niue was hit by Cyclone Heta, which caused extensive damage to the entire island, including wiping out most of the south of the capital, Alofi. The disaster set the island back about two years from its planned timeline to implement the Niue Integrated Strategic Plan (NISP), since national efforts concentrated on recovery.
Now you know what we know.