That Rectangle Under Newfoundland on the Inflight Map

every time i take a trip to the east coast or one that goes across the Atlantic on United, i see that pink rectangle under Newfoundland and Labrador and wonder what it is. it’s clearly the same line that separates countries, but what country is it that has such a tiny presence in the far reaches of Canada? it’s been bothering me for months but i only just now looked it up.

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You can see the fuchsia rectangle in the upper right quadrant. This map is from when we turned around due to a mechanical failure last month.

it’s part of France: Saint Pierre and Miquelon, two islands just a dozen miles off the coast of Newfoundland.

from Wikipedia:

[It] is a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France, situated in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean near Canada. It is the only remnant of the former colonial empire of New France that remains under French control, with a population of 6,080 at the January 2011 census.

[googlemaps //maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon&aq=0&oq=st.+pierre+et+&sll=37.529386,-122.008471&sspn=0.232518,0.528374&t=h&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=St+Pierre+and+Miquelon&ll=46.8852,-56.3159&spn=6.358612,16.907959&z=7&output=embed&w=650&h=350]

according to Wikitravel, the currency is the euro, but unlike mainland France, is not part of the European Union or the Schengen zone. the islands were once heavily dependent on fishing, but tourism is on the rise. French is spoken, and, says Wiki, is closer to mainland (metropolitan/standard) French than Canadian French.

the last vestige of New France is a little rectangle on a computer map — remember the name and show off your geography knowledge and wow your seatmate! (assuming they are as geopolitcally illiterate as i am, that is.)

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