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That Montego Bay fiasco

Published:Sunday | April 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM


The Opposition party is now complaining about the conduct of members and supporters of the Government at civic functions. It seems that they are brought to these events to cheer government members and heckle opposition members.

Last Tuesday, one newspaper carried a picture of what should be our country's flag which was prominently displayed at a civic function. The flag - which is supposed to be green, gold and black - had the green missing. Green is also the party colour of the Opposition, but on the flag it is supposed to symbolise the country's agricultural fertility. It was replaced by more black - which represents hardship. Is somebody dropping a hint here?

lame excuse

After much public outcry, a lame excuse was offered. It went like this: When the flag was being made, they discovered that they did not have any green material, a claim the decorator has denied. Now green is the most dominant colour in our flag. I really hope that those associated with this 'mistake' will not be seen on boards and planning committees charting the way forward for this country.

The position taken by others in Government is that it is a trivial matter. No, no, no. It isn't. Historians will attest to the fact that many of the tragedies and the carnage in this world started with these little 'mistakes' and 'misunderstandings' which all went unnoticed, particularly since the schemers and culprits told the people that they were of no consequence.

When I think of this latest 'mistake' in Montego Bay, I reflect on our human-rights abuses, our voiceless, suffering children, a justice system that is more certain than it is just and wonder if all of these are not coming from the same place in the national consciousness.

In 1812, America was at war. After seeing the British Royal Navy inflict severe damage on Fort McHenry at Chesapeake Bay, poet Francis Scott Key was amazed to see that the flag still flew.

This inspired him to write the now-famous Star Spangled Banner which has, since then, been connected with the American flag.

If we continue with this partisan divisiveness, someone may suggest that the flag be changed to one single solid colour, like that which Libya had up to last year. But that was green. Or the flag of Paraguay, which is not identical on its obverse and reverse sides.

If there is still disagreement, may I recommend the flag of Ireland. Officially, they claim the colours have no meaning. But if one visits and asks the man in the street, one will be told this. "The flag is green, white and orange. Green represents the Catholics, orange represents the Protestants, and white is for peace between them.


Stony Hill, Kingston 9