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Kiribati was first settled between 200 and 500 AD. Kiribati is an independent republic, of which are some 30 low lying coral islands comprising the Gilbert, Phoenix and Line groups of islands. The capital is Tarawa and the population of 65,000 is mainly Micronesian.
English is the official language, but Gilbertese and Kiribati are the main local languages. The flag is the banner of the arms that was given to Gilbert and Elice islands in 1937. Ellice became what we known as Tuvalu today, and Gilbert changed name to Kiribati, but the shield remained the same. This flag came in use in 1979 after the country became a republic.
"Kiribati" is pronounced Kirribarce (kih-rih-baht), and is a rendering into an Oceanic language form of the English name Gilberts (the shorthand form of the Gilbert Islands' name). So in one sense it didn't really change its name, just the spelling.
The climate is tropical and the wet season is from November to April.
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