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The flag is a replica of the American flag, but with a single large white star on a blue field representing Liberia's long history as the "Lone Star," the only independent republic in Africa during the colonial period.
The Great Seal depicts a sailing ship like that which carried the American settlers to Africa, a palm tree, and a plow and ax with the motto "The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here." Emergence as a Nation.
Institutions such as adoption, wardship, informal polygyny, and apprenticeship brought many indigenous children into settler homes.
Within a generation, they had entered the Americo-Liberian group and forgotten their "tribal" origins.
Those in the regions bordering Ivory Coast and Guinea are often conversational in French.
The capital, Monrovia, was named for the United States president James Monroe and is situated near the original landing site of the American settlers.With most government institutions concentrated in coastal cities, many inhabitants of the interior had little sense of being Liberian until the second half of the twentieth century. A monsoon climate of alternating wet and dry seasons characterizes the weather.Plateaus and mountain ranges in the northern region are rich in iron ore, gold, and diamonds.The area had been known as the Grain Coast, in reference to the malagueta pepper that was the primary export.Negotiations with the Bassa and Dei to "purchase" land for the settlers apparently were carried out at gunpoint, and the indigenous people probably believed they were entering into a trade agreement with the newcomers rather than giving up ownership of their territory. A disastrous civil war from late 1989 to 1997 is believed to have cost at least 200,000 lives, and many Liberians live as refugees in neighboring countries and elsewhere in the world.