The flag of Palau was adopted on January 1, 1981. When the island group separated from the United Nations Trust Territory, it adopted this flag. In common with other Pacific island groups, blue is the colour used to represent the ocean and the nation's place within it. While this puts Palau in common with the Federated States of Micronesia and other neighbouring island groups, the off-centre disc on the flag is similar to that of the flag of Bangladesh (and also to the flag of Japan), but in this case, represents the moon instead of the sun. The current flag was introduced in 1981 when Palau became a republic.
Previously, the flag of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands was flown jointly with the United Nations and American flags. The flag's straightforward design belies the depth of meaning attributed to it. The explanation for the choice of colours is rooted in the history and customs of the Palauan people. The bright blue of the field, which might be assumed to be symbolic of the Pacific Ocean is, in fact, a representation of the transition from foreign domination to self-government. The golden disk, which sits slightly off centre toward the hoist, represents the full moon. The Palauans consider the full moon to be the optimum time for human activity. At this time of the month, celebrations, harvesting, sowing, fishing, tree-felling, and the carving of traditional canoes are carried out. The moon is a symbol of peace, love, and tranquillity.