The oldest national ensign raised on the so-called Dark Continent of Africa, announcing the rise of a long forgotten people, first showed face on the “Pepper Coast” of West Africa. Though geographically cramped and tiny, Liberia demonstrated motherhood, not only by becoming a loud, fiery voice echoing the necessary desires and calls for the total liberation of the world’s largest continent, but also playing sanctuary to pestered and troubled sons of the continent. That pride was shortly lost when a civil conflict struck and Liberia became a troubled child for nearly a decade and half. The war ended nearly two decades ago, and Mother-Liberia is again struggling to take its rightful place on the world stage. The 24th President and second democratically elected post-conflict President is pleading for unity and peace on the nation’s 174th Flag Day Anniversary, as The Analyst reports.
Liberia selected its 174th Flag Day Anniversary yesterday, August 24, 2021, the day on which the then only dependent nation on Africa raised its flag of independence. The occasion was short, due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, by its usual pomp and pageantry that was normally characterized by military drills, colorful student parades and huge assemblies of citizens.
However, virtual patriotic statements and salutations of Liberians on the day were made, amongst them was that of the President calling on Liberians to be proud of who they are despite challenges that have befallen them and their dear nation.
In his National Flag Day speech, President George Manneh Weah said: “We ought to be proud of who we are as Liberians. We must stand firm in claiming the future together, in order to see Liberia rise again. And we must be aggressive about saving Liberia from those who are aggressive about destroying it. I admonish you to love your flag, for it symbolizes our identity and way of life.”
He used the occasion to excite the patriotic spirits of the people, who he said had suffered many obligations, including a civil conflict.
“Liberia remains our common patrimony,” the President told his people. “Whatever our differences, the need to guarantee a better future for our children must stand paramount. We cannot afford to reverse the gains that we have made after enjoying close to two decades of peace.”
Dr. Weah said he was convinced that Liberians shall continue to overcome every trial and tribulation, “as we strive to make Liberia a better place”.
“On this day, therefore, we should bear in mind that the Lone Star is our symbol of Peace and National Unity,” he added. “As we pledge allegiance to our Flag, let us all remember that we are One Nation; indivisible; with liberty and justice for all.”
President Weah reflected that on was on August 24, 2021, exactly 174 years ago, that “our founding fathers courageously raised the Liberian Flag, declaring to the world that Liberia was a free and sovereign nation.
“Today, we come together to celebrate that day as a National Holiday, under the Theme: ‘The Lone Star: A Symbol of Peace and National Unity’”.
He said the Liberian Flag, popularly known as ‘The Lone Star’, is the visible evidence of Liberia’s pride and dignity, and that “it is our stamp to the world that signifies that all Liberians, both at home and in the diaspora, are one people with a common destiny, regardless of political persuasion, religion or social status”.
As a nation, President Weah noted, “we have endured many difficult times in these past 174 years of our existence, more recently including a brutal civil conflict which took away the lives of over 250,000 of our citizens, and also tore down the fabric of our society.”
“Today, we are facing another grave national crisis, as we struggle to battle the negative impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic, which has already drastically altered our way of life.”
In spite of all these challenges, he asserted, “we must continue to celebrate all that God has graciously given us as a People. We must continue to celebrate all that we ourselves have done to be where we are today, as One Nation, united under God.”
The Liberian Chief Executive said further: “Most importantly, we must continue to celebrate the Peace that we now enjoy, which creates a conducive atmosphere for the development which we see taking shape across the country.
“In all that we do, we must ensure that we prepare a better nation for future generations. This is why my administration will continue to take steps in the direction of creating a better environment for young Liberians to prepare themselves, so that they will be ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that are certain to present themselves, both now, and in the future.”