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Its coastline extends about 1,800 miles (2,896 kilometers).

In spite of national boundaries, all Somalis consider themselves one people.

This unity makes them one of Africa's largest ethnic groups. Somalia is on the outer edge of the Somali Peninsula, also called the Horn of Africa, on the East African coast.

Other symbols of Somalia are the five-pointed white star on the Somali flag and the crescent, which represents the new moon and is a universal symbol of the Islamic faith.

Each point of the star represents a land that is home to Somali people: the portion within the national boundaries, once divided into two territories, Italian and British; the Ogaden region of Ethiopia; the Northern Frontier District of Kenya; and Djibouti.

Vegetation is generally sparse, except in the area between the Jubba and the Shabeelle Rivers in south-central Somalia.

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