Todd Schoonover in Coudersport is doing 37 things including…

Get 100 flags on my 43T flag counter

44 cheers

 

Todd Schoonover has written 51 entries about this goal

100. Sri Lanka

And with this newest visitor, I have reached 100 flags on my 43T flag counter. The first Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C. probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced in about the mid-third century B.C., and a great civilization developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200 B.C. to circa A.D. 1000) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200). In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty established a Tamil kingdom in northern Sri Lanka. The coastal areas of the island were controlled by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. Tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. After two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formalized a cease-fire in February 2002 with Norway brokering peace negotiations. Violence between the LTTE and government forces intensified in 2006 and the government regained control of the Eastern Province in 2007. In May 2009, the government announced that its military had finally defeated the remnants of the LTTE and that its leader, Velupillai PRABHAKARAN, had been killed.

Thanks for visiting me.



99. Uganda

I’d asked Dita for this flag a couple weeks ago but even though she had visited me from there, the flag didn’t appear. It finally appeared today though and I’m really happy. This is such an interesting looking flag. The colors are vibrant and the crested crane in the middle stands out.

Thanks for visiting me.



98. Luxembourg

I’ve always been fascinated by this small nation, the only Grand Duchy in the world. Founded in 963, Luxembourg became a grand duchy in 1815 and an independent state under the Netherlands. It lost more than half of its territory to Belgium in 1839 but gained a larger measure of autonomy. Full independence was attained in 1867. Overrun by Germany in both world wars, it ended its neutrality in 1948 when it entered into the Benelux Customs Union and when it joined NATO the following year. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union), and in 1999 it joined the euro currency area.

Thanks for visiting me.



97. Moldova

Part of Romania during the interwar period, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although the country has been independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Dniester River supporting the Slavic majority population, mostly Ukrainians and Russians, who have proclaimed a “Transnistria” republic. One of the poorest nations in Europe, Moldova became the first former Soviet state to elect a Communist, Vladimir VORONIN, as its president in 2001. VORONIN served as Moldova’s president until he resigned in September 2009, following the opposition’s gain of a narrow majority in July parliamentary elections and the Communist Party’s (PCRM) subsequent inability to attract the three-fifths of parliamentary votes required to elect a president.

Thanks for visiting me.



96. Pakistan

My sophomore year in college I had a roommate from Pakistan. I learned quite a bit about his culture, politics and national history during that year. I’ve paid attention to the country’s struggles since then particularly the nuclear testing back in 1998. I feel bad for President Zardari having to deal with the insurgents, and hope that they will be able to repair relations with India.

This is a favorite flag of mine. I like the simple two color scheme.

Thanks for visiting me.



95. Paraguay

My other South American visitor was from Paraguay. Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) – between Paraguay and Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay – Paraguay lost two-thirds of all adult males and much of its territory. The country stagnated economically for the next half century. Following the Chaco War of 1932-35 with Bolivia, Paraguay gained a large part of the Chaco lowland region. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER ended in 1989, and, despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent years, Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since then.

Thanks for visiting me.



94. Chad

In between two new South American country flags was a visit from another nation from Africa, Chad. Chad, part of France’s African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of civil warfare as well as invasions by Libya before a semblance of peace was finally restored in 1990. Looking at its flag you can see the resemblance to France’s flag.

Thanks for visiting me.



93. Venezuela

I guess mentioning wanting more South American visitors yesterday was the thing to do because I had two more countries visit me since I wrote about Chile. The first is Venezuela.

Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Hugo CHAVEZ, president since 1999, seeks to implement his “21st Century Socialism,” which purports to alleviate social ills while at the same time attacking capitalist globalization and existing democratic institutions. Current concerns include: a weakening of democratic institutions, political polarization, a politicized military, drug-related violence along the Colombian border, increasing internal drug consumption, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.

Thanks for visiting me.



92. Chile

With my newest visitor, I’ve completed the western coast of South America. I love it when I can complete geographic areas or groupings. I’m half done now with the national flags of South America too. It would be cool to get more of these flags too.

Thanks for visiting me.



91. Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule. This tiny country, composed of a mainland portion plus five inhabited islands, is one of the smallest on the African continent. President Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO has ruled the country since 1979 when he seized power in a coup. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, the 1996, 2002, and 2009 presidential elections – as well as the 1999 and 2004 legislative elections – were widely seen as flawed. The president exerts almost total control over the political system and has discouraged political opposition. Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid economic growth due to the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, and in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa’s third largest oil exporter. Despite the country’s economic windfall from oil production resulting in a massive increase in government revenue in recent years, there have been few improvements in the population’s living standards.

Thanks for visiting me.



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