More about the island

Written on 10/01/2014

Geography: Anguilla is a caribbean island, part of the British overseas territory about seven miles north of St. Martin/St. Maarten; it is a blip on the radar - a mere 35 square miles (96 km2) with just six traffic lights. The flat eel-like shape main land is about 16 miles (26km) long from West to East for 3 miles (5km) wide. The highest point - Crocus Hill - is only  213 feet (65m) above sea level. There are no rivers or streams. The territory includes a number of other smaller islands and cays, mostly tiny and uninhabited: Scrub Island, Sandy Island, Dog Island, Prickley Pear Cays, Scilly Cay, Sombrero, Anguillita. The capital is The Valley.

History: The Amerindian tribes (Arawaks) that first settled on the island gave it the name of Malliouhanna ("The Arrow") and some vestiges of their presance on the island still remain with the petroglyphs in The Fountain Cave now closed to the public and others artefacts dated to around 1300 BC. The recent history with european colonisation is 500 years back from now although the date of discovery is uncertain: some sources claim that Columbus sighted the island in 1493, while others state that the island was first discovered by the French in 1564 or 1565... Then English settlers arrived and colonized Anguilla but soon left the island and the slaves behind due to unfavourable conditions for agricultural cultivation.

During the early colonial period, Anguilla was administered by the British through Antigua and was placed later under the administrative control of nearby Saint Kitts & Nevis. The Anguillian revolution of May 30, 1967 headed by Ronald Webster (Webster's birthday, March 2nd, is celebrated as a public holiday in Anguilla since and Anguilla Day the 30th of May) lead to the independence from Saint Kitts and Nevis and a return to being a British colony.

Governance: Anguilla is an internally self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom and elects therefore a chief-minister at the head of the government for 5 years; he is appointed by the Governor who represents the British Monarch and is responsible for the military defence. The Judiciary is independent of the executive.

Symbols and Identity: Until 1967, the only flag flown in Anguilla was the Union Jack of Great Britain but after the revolution the Three Dolphins flag became immediately popular and is still used by many People today, although unofficially. The three dolphins are coloured orange, to represent endurance unity and strength, and are in a circle for continuity. The flag has a white background, for peace and tranquility, with a turquoise-blue base representing the surrounding sea and also faith, youth and hope.

The national bird is th Turtle Dove (protected)

The national sport is the Boat Race.

Economy: Anguilla is known as a quiet, peaceful island, with miles and miles of white sand beaches, all ringed by crystal clear waters - the 33 uncrowded and unspoiled beaches are public. Powder soft white sand meeting gentle seas of pristine waters colored in vibrant and varied hues of turquoise makes tourism the major and recent industry of Anguilla. 

Architecturally striking villas, hotels and an uncommun gastronomy are a magnet for celebrities looking for Anguillian unique style: unfussy chic, barefoot elegance.

Anguilla has also become a popular tax heaven, having no direct taxation on either individuals or corporations. Only in April 2011, faced with a mounting deficit, it introduced a 3% "Interim Stabilisation Levy" - Anguilla's first form of income tax.