Between the 1880s and the 1960s, the flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands featured an igloo. When Britain decided that the colony needed its own flag, it commissioned an artist to paint a suitable local scene. At the time, the salt industry dominated the local economy, so he sketched a man working on a quay between two piles of salt. When this was sent to London, the Admiralty artist apparently mistook these for ice, not knowing that the Turks and Caicos lie southeast of the Bahamas, and he helpfully added a door to the right pile.
Amazingly, the error remained in place until 1966, when it was discreetly removed before a state visit by Queen Elizabeth.
According to Elsdon Smith’s 1967 Treasury of Name Lore, Gwendolyn Kuuleikailialohaopiilaniwailaukekoaulumahiehiekealaoonoaonaopiikea Kekino had a birth certificate to prove her name. Her family called her Piikea.
Albert K. Kahalekula of Wailuku, Hawaii, was a private in the Army in 1957. The K stood for Kahekilikuiikalewaokamehameha. Until Albert’s 29-letter middle name was registered, his brothers had the longest middle names in U.S. military service — each was 22 letters long.
In 1955, restaurant owner George Pappavlahodimitrakopoulous had the longest name in the Lansing, Mich., telephone directory. He made a standing offer of a free meal to anyone who could pronounce the name correctly on the first try (PDF).
According to Smith, a native policeman in Fiji, British Polynesia, had the name Marika Tuimudremudrenicagitokalauna-tobakonatewaenagaunakalakivolaikoyakinakotamanaenaiivolanikawabualenavalenivolavolaniyasanamaisomosomo, 130 letters long. “The name is said to tell that, with the aid of a northerly wind, Marika’s father sailed from Natewa, on Vanua Levu, to the provincial office at Somosomo, Taveuni, to register the birth of the child.”
Above: In 1921 Laurence J. Daly, editor of the Webster Times, proposed lengthening the name of Lake Chaubunagungamaug to Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, which arguably makes it the longest place name in the United States.