Two interesting things about the small Caribbean island of Anguilla is that it's the Spanish for eel, and was named for its shape; and that it was in rebellion against the UK from 1967 to 1969.

It was discovered by Columbus in 1493, and was colonized by England in 1650. From 1871 it and from 1882 Nevis were governed from the larger island of St Kitts or St Christopher, forming the colony of St Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, though the name of Anguilla was only added in 1951. From the very beginning Anguillans disliked being so absorbed.

In 1967 this became an associated state, a form of self-government preparatory to independence. Now Anguilla didn't want to remain dominated by the larger islands (not that either, especially Nevis, is very large), and were chafing from central government neglect of their essential services, so on 30 May 1967 they expelled the seventeen St Kitts policemen. On 12 July 1967 they declared UDI, after a referendum the previous day had supported independence by 1813 votes to 5. In December a provisional arrangement was made for more direct British administration.

This imperfect settlement lasted until 1969, when another referendum, on 6 February, went 1739 votes to 4 for independence, and they declared themselves a republic. But on 19 March of that year British paratroopers and London police were parachuted in to take control and end the rebellion.

They remained technically part of the triple colony but de facto a separate dependency until 1980, when Anguilla was formally separated from St Christopher and Nevis, which became independent in 1983 as St Kitts and Nevis. The island is far too small to be an independent state and is destined to remain British unless it changes its mind about its giant(-ish) neighbours.

Here's the national song:

God bless Anguilla
Nurture and keep her
Noble and beauteous
She stands midst the sea
Oh land of the happy
A haven we'll make thee
Our lives and love
We give unto thee

With heart and soul
We'll build a nation
Proud, strong and free
We'll love her hold her
Dear to our hearts for eternity
Let truth and right
our banner be
We'll march ever on

Mighty we'll make
Long may she prosper
God grant her leaders
wisdom and grace
May glory and honour
Ever attend her
Firm shall she stand
Throughout every age

The old national flag was very attractive: three orange dolphins in a circle, on white, with an aqua stripe below. This is now used as the shield on a Blue Ensign, a much less effective arrangement.

Peculiar local holidays are Anguilla Day on 30 May, Constitution Day on 9 August, and Separation Day on 19 December. They also have most of the usual British holidays.

The capital is The Valley, in the centre.

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