FACT FOOD #439

Bikini Atoll (series of 23 islands) is part of Marshall Islands, an island country located in the Pacific Ocean and close to the equator. The name Bikini originates from the local language ‘Pikini’ (Pik =surface and ni =coconut, thereby surface of coconuts). The flag of Bikini Atoll was adopted in 1987 and resembles closely with the United States flag. The 23 white stars represents the 23 islands, the three black stars on the upper right represents the three islands disfigured in 1954 due to a nuclear test conducted by the United States. The two black stars in lower right corner represent where the people of the Bikini Atoll currently live – Kili Island and Ejit Island. The words inscribed below the stars – MEN OTEMJEJ REJ ILO PEIN ANIJ translates to “Everything is in the hands of God”, a phrase quoted by the local leader Juda to Ben Wyatt, the Commodore of United States when he asked the people of Bikini Atoll to give up their islands for the good of all mankind for nuclear weapons testing.