Name That Flag, #1

Ours may sport stars, others suns or moons, but a number of national flags feature designs of another lofty nature--avian, to be specific. Can you guess which nation corresponds with the flag below and name the bird that emblazons it?

Credit: Central Intelligence Agency
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ANSWER: Dominica, sisserou parrot.

The sisserou, also known as the imperial parrot (Amazona imperialis), is Dominica's national bird--fitting, given that the island nation is the only place in the world where this Amazon parrot--the largest of such species--is found. In Audubon's green travel story "Off the Map," Christopher R. Cox describes the sisserou as a "striking creature with a purplish head, amethyst breast, and lime-green wings." It's uncertain how many imperial parrots exist, but the number is likely fewer than 300. Cox notes, "A census is hopeless, as the reclusive sisserou lives only in the mountainous interior’s most inaccessible sections."

As the centerpiece of the Dominican flag, the imperial parrot symbolizes flight toward fulfillment of goals. The yellow stripe, meanwhile, stands for sunshine, as well as the land's primary agricultural produce, citrus and bananas; it also represents the island's first inhabitants--the Carib and Arawak people. The black stripe is an emblem for rich, black soil--the basis for Dominica's agriculture--and also harkens to its African heritage. The white stripe speaks to river and waterfall clarity and "the purity of aspiration" of Dominica's people.

For more on Dominica's flag, click here.

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