Last modified: 2011-06-10 by ian macdonald
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Papua New Guinea is made up of two former colonial territories:
The Territory of Papua was acquired by Queensland (against the express wishes of Whitehall) in 1884 following a scare that the Germans would be on our doorstep. Germany took the Territory of New Guinea the same year, headquartered in Rabaul. During this period the British exchanged Bougainville and Buka Islands (part of the Solomons) for some other German territory.
During World War One Australian troops captured New Guinea (the North-East quarter) and administered it under German law until 1921, when the League of Nations mandated it to Australia. Papua and New Guinea were administered separately until World War Two when the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU) amalgamated the two Territories under military law. After the war the United Nations made New Guinea an Australian Protectorate, and both came under a common administration, until independence in 1972/3. A good book on the history is John Reid, The Hot Land.
Garry McKellar-James, 12 September 2001
The Territory of Papua was the southern half of present day Papua New Guinea, and was first controlled by the British from 1884-1906, when it officially was transferred to Australian control.
The Territory of New Guinea was the northern half of present day Papua New Guinea and was first controlled by the Germans from 1885-1914/15, when Australian military forces took control. Australian control was officially recognised by the League of Nations as a Mandated Territory from 1920-42, Japanese invasion in early 1942. Australia regained control in 1944, and it became a United Nations Trust Territory in 1949, called Papua and New Guinea.
Between 1920-42 separate flags were approved by the British Colonial Office for use in each Territory: