Currency: Bahamian Dollar (BSD).
Listen to the national anthem
The name "Bahamas" comes from the words "baja mar" which means shallow water and is made up of over 7 individual islands.
In 1718, when the British got tough on piracy in the region, the Bahamas was colonised and remains a part of the British Commonwealth. In 1973, the Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm keeping Queen Elizabeth II as monarch. Nassau, the capital, was the haven for pirates operating in the Caribbean region.
The population is mostly made up with descendants of freed slaves that escaped from Florida, as well as some 500 freed from American merchant ships by the Royal Navy.
The flag was designed by Rev. Dr. Hervis Bain and was first raised on 10th July 1973, replacing the Union Jack. The use of the national flag is subjected to certain terms, for example, the black triangle must not be pointing from the viewers right or indeed, upwards. Both positions would be a symbol of distress. The national flag must be flown between the hours of sunrise and sunset and if it is needed to be flown at night it must be fully lit. When used for a funeral the flag must be draped over the coffin completely covering it. The black triangle should be covering the head of the coffin, over the head of the deceased. The flag should remain on the coffin right through the service and just before being lowered into the grave. When removed it is done in a dignified way with the flag being carefully folded and put away. If two flags are ever to be flown at the same time then the Bahamian flag must be on the left, flown first and then taken down first.
The Yellow Elder is the national flower as it is a native plant and flowers all year.
The national fish is the Blue Marlin and the national bird is the Flamingo.
Just off the shoreline of Long Island, there is a record breaking natural hole known as Dean's Blue Hole. The hole is just below the surface and measures up to 35m (114ft) wide and 202m (660ft) deep! In 2010, free diver William Trubridge set the world record for the Constant Weight category of 101m (330ft) at Dean's Hole.