Dominica is located in the Caribbean, in the northeast Antilles. An
area of 751 square kilometers is home to 7 l million people, most of
whom are blacks or mulatto. Most are Catholic, with English the
official language. The currency is the East Caribbean dollar and the
capital is Roseau.
Dominica’s flag contains a green backdrop with a cross comprised of
yellow, black, and white, in the center of which is a red circle
containing 10 yellow five-pointed stars and the profile of a parrot.
The cross represents the nations’ Catholic beliefs, and the stars
stand for the country's 10 dioceses.
Arawak Indians originally inhabited the Caribbean islands. In 1493,
Columbus discovered Dominica. In 1763, the Treaty of Paris placed
the island under the British, although it was later occupied twice
by the French. In 1805, the French occupiers set fire to Roseau.
Britain paid £1.2 ransom money, and again officially occupied the
island. On November 3, 1978, Dominica declared independence and
became a member of the Commonwealth.