That’s the issue raised in a submission to the Constitution Commission by the CEO of the NGO Pacific Dialogue, Jone Dakevula. (article courtesy of http://www.radioaustralia.net.au – 13/9/12)
He says Fiji these days is a republic with a president, and having a flag with the Union Jack in the top left hand corner is a reminder of negative colonial inheritances such as racism, divide and rule and cringing subservience.
But the man who staged Fiji’s first two military coups, Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka, says the flag symbolises Fiji’s history and identity and should not be changed.
Bruce Hill reports.
Presenter: Bruce Hill
Speaker: CEO of the NGO Pacific Dialogue, Jone Dakevula.Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka
The Pacific Dialogue CEO says it’s really Fiji itself that has already effectively severed the link with the United Kingdom.
DAKEVULA: It’s because Fiji has had a number of coups right since 1987, and the coups basically meant that Fiji had rejected the constitutional link with the British, and that is symbolised by the flag. Therefore it’s time to have a new flag.
HILL: Does this arise out of some sort of anti-British sentiment or attitudes towards Fiji’s past that you want to sort of forget?
DAKEVULA: No it’s not of matter of forgetting the past, it’s just that flag as it is, it doesn’t really mean much to the people of Fiji. You have in one corner of the flag the Union Jack, which is a symbol of the United Kingdom, it doesn’t represent Fiji. And the coups have rejected that link with the British. And we need a new flag because we are starting anew too, and a flag which is more symbolic of the history of Fiji and cultural and other features of Fiji that are of meaning to people should be in that flag.
HILL: What kind of symbols or figures or things would you like to see on a new flag for Fiji?
DAKEVULA: I can’t say now because I think it is a matter that should come out of that flag creating competition that we are recommending that we should have at the end of this constitutional review process.
HILL: Tell me about your submission to the Constitution Commission, there are other things obviously than the flag, what do you think was the most important submission that your organisation put forward?
DAKEVULA: There’s a range of about 27 issues that we have raised, and we have talked about national anthem, we’ve talked about changes to street names, those are the symbolic issues. Then we have talked about constituting assembly and how we think this should be formed. We have talked about the possibility of a referendum on the constitution, we have proposed changes in parliament, reform of parliament, cabinet, power-sharing, remuneration of members of parliament, electoral system, new electoral system, bill of rights and a whole range of issues.
HILL: But any change to the flag should be resisted, according to Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka, who himself led two military coups in 1987.
He says history matters, and Fiji should not do anything to forget its own past.
RABUKA: How far back do you want to go, how much of what you are do you want to get rid of? I think we take a recommendation that yes I will give the appropriate treatment to and just forget about it.
HILL: Is the fly in the Union Jack in the Fiji flag popular with the people in Fiji or not popular? Is it a symbol of colonialism as Jone Dakevula suggests?
RABUKA: No it is a record of our history. There are many aspects of one’s history that people may not like, changing the flag will not change the fact that we were a colony. We cannot look to the future without a past. We have had a past and we learned from our past and move forward.
HILL: Do you think that this call to change the flag would be popular with people in Fiji, or would people prefer to keep it as it is?
RABUKA: I do not know, there’s not been a public outcry of whether we should do away with the flag. And even if we put it to the people now, many people would say that it is of no significance. I was just looking at the Papua New Guinea flag today and its evolution from the German flag and then the Papuan flag and the territory of New Guinea flag until they adopted the black and red and the bird of paradise and the star, and they just moved straight into it in 1971 when they got independence. So if we put it to the people now they might, people might express some real for but so far, nobody has really paid much attention to it.
(article courtesy of independent.co.uk – Helen William)
Syrian athletes could compete at the London 2012 Olympics under a neutral flag as the crippling uprising against President Basar al-Assad rages on.
Athletes could compete under the Olympic Flag – a scenario seen at Sydney 2000 for Olympians from East Timor, the IOC’s director of relations with national Olympic committees (NOC) and Olympic solidarity Pere Miro told the Around the Rings website.
More than 7,500 people have been killed in the year-long conflict between Syrian forces and rebels, according to United Nations estimates, sparking concern about whether officials close to the regime should be allowed at the London 2012 Games.
The national committee, headed by General Mowaffak Joumaa who is believed to be a friend of President Assad, would automatically be invited to attend the opening ceremony.
The IOC said it would withdraw his accreditation only if UN sanctions were imposed on him or his committee.
Mr Miro said the status of Syria was being monitored, although the IOC had not been in the country for six months.
Due to the “confused” situation in Syria, the IOC, which usually deals directly with the NOC, is now finding “more direct ways” to support the athletes.
The Government is expected to unveil further details of the latest aid package later today.
Why not fly the Syrian flag of 1932 – 1958? The Libyans have gone back to their old flag. Surely this is what the people of Syria are going to do as well? If you would like to own yours, then please visit our website www.worldflagshop.com and buy yours now.
Article courtesy of http://www.metro.co.uk
Why are pirates so scary? Cos they aaaaarrrrrr!!!!
We have got loads of pirate flags, all different sizes. Come have a look and buy one at www.worldflagshop.com
Anthony Steele’s parents were told they face legal action unless they take down their pirate-mad son’s toy flag, which requires council approval.
His mother, Sara, was left baffled by East Lindsey council’s stance on the skull and crossbones, flown from a fishing pole, which the council says cannot exceed 2m (6ft 6in) and must be removed within 28 days.
‘It’s sad that someone has reported a child’s toy to the council,’ Ms Steele said. ‘We don’t understand why it constitutes as advertising when it is just a standard pirate’s flag in our garden.’
Ms Steele and her partner, Ronnie Ford-Kennedy, bought the flag for their son, who has Asperger’s syndrome, so he could pretend to be on a pirate ship.
‘He keeps asking me why we have to take it down and I don’t even understand why myself,’ she added.
A council spokesman said: ‘The flag is a breach of advertising regulations. We’d be happy to provide advice and guidance on what is acceptable.’
The couple said they would reduce the height of the pole and fly a new England flag instead.
Feb 29 2012 by Douglas Dickie, Rutherglen Reformer – WITH THANKS TO
RUGLONIANS have called on South Lanarkshire Council to make sure the correct respect is paid to the Union Flag flying from the Town Hall.
That was their message this week as concerns were again raised at the state of the flag on the mast.
Many people feel the flag looks tattered and is an insult to the nation and to those who have fought and died under it.
It has also been suggested that the correct respect is not given to the flag at night when protocol suggests it should be illuminated or even taken down.
Most recently, in 2005 the council came under fire after the flag was left flying at half-mast on the day of Prince Charles’ wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles.
It had been lowered following the death of Pope John Paul II with the council claiming high winds prevented them returning it to its proper position.
One Reformer reader, Gerry Daly, said it was time the council started treating the flag with the respect it was due.
The former Ministry of Defence worker said: “All of my life, in common with every other British citizen, I have lived under the protection of the establishment which the flag represents and for 40 years I was proud to work for that same flag.
“Very many others have fought and died for the flag, as witnessed by the countless Rolls of Honour inscribed on so many Cenotaphs at home and abroad.”
He added: “At MoD establishments when the flag is flown, it is always raised at 8am and lowered at dusk with the greatest of ceremony and respect.
“It is never flown throughout the 24 hours. Neither is it flown in a tattered and torn condition. Unfortunately this, as witnessed by everyone who has eyes to see, is not the case in Rutherglen.”
Gerry reckons the flag should either be lowered at night or be illuminated as protocol dictates.
Gerry’s views gained sympathy on the streets of Rutherglen.
Ina Mackie said: “As a Royal Burgh surely the least we can do is have respect for the flag and what it represents. Someone in the town should be in charge of it.”
Alexander Sim added: “This is the flag of our country and should be treated with the utmost respect. It shouldn’t be left out at night.”
Gerry even suggested that a flag should only be flown on special occasions, using a Union Flag to mark, for example, Royal birthdays, and a Saltire on St Andrew’s Day and more Scottish celebrations, something the council has previously failed to agree to do.
A spokeswoman for South Lanarkshire Council said the Town Hall Flag is “monitored and visually checked each morning.”
She said the Town Hall doesn’t have the facility to raise and lower the flag each morning and that the flag is replaced an average of four times a year.
She added: “There is a significant cost involved in undertaking the replacement of the flag and it is not realistic to do this on a more frequent basis.
“The frequency of renewing it is weather-dependent and while the recent storms have taken their toll on the flag, the contractors are unable to access this during certain weather conditions.
“On those occasions, the flag is not changed as promptly as we would like. However, the health and safety of the contractors must always be a prime consideration.”
The spokeswoman said the council do fly Saltires on St Andrew’s Day but only where there is more than one flagpole.
She added: “We take ownership of the flying of the Union flag very seriously.”
To have your own St Andrews or Union flag, visit www.worldflagshop.com and get yours now!
A fundraising-mad biker will appear in court in June to fight for his right to fly the flags of the armed services from his bike.
Broderick Mills, of Palace Road in Streatham, has raised money for the Royal British Legion and Army Benevolent Fund since 2008, after suffering from anxiety and depression which left him unable to work. The 57-year-old organises themed rides across London on his motorbike – decorating it with memorabilia and flying the flags of the army, navy and RAF.
But Mr Mills has not been able to organise a charity ride since last October – when he was stopped by police who said the flags flying from the bike were dangerous.
He was charged with the offence of ‘using a motor vehicle or trailer with equipment likely to cause danger of injury’, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Mr Mills, who was in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps as a teenager, sad in three years of charity rides he had never been stopped. He said: “The flags are great to draw people’s attention and I can see them smiling as I go by – my motorbike resembles a carnival float during a ride.
“I am very annoyed and hope this matter can be resolved so I can fly the flags from my bike once more.”
He added he is worried that the imposition of penalty points on his licence, if he is found guilty of the offence, will leave him unable to continue fundraising.
He said: “I don’t think I’ll be able to continue if that happens – I’d probably have to sell the bike.”
The case will be heard at Richmond Magistrates Court on June 11.
As a proud supporter and annual charity contributor towards the RAF Benevolent Fund over the years, we fully support Mr Mills and his bike rides. If you want to support the Armed Forces, then why not buy a flag from our website, www.worldflagshop.com
Courtesy of http://www.shropshirestar.com – 31/1/12
Thousands of pounds will be spent decking out Shrewsbury town centre in colourful flags to celebrate the Olympic games – but the bunting will not include the iconic Olympic rings logo because it will be ‘too expensive’.
Shrewsbury Town Council is planning to spend about £2,000 on 200 flags to be put up around the town ahead of the arrival of the Olympic torch on May 30.
It was hoped some of the flags would have featured the official Olympic logo, but officials today said the cost of these individual ones would be more than double the price of the standard Union Jack and Shrewsbury Town Council flags.
Mayor of Shrewsbury, councillor Tony Durnell said the price of the Olympic flags was ‘astronomical’.
He said: “It was definitely more than double the £10 each we are paying for the other flags and it was decided it would not have been prudent to spend that amount of money.
“It is all to do with the copyright on the Olympic logo. All the Olympic merchandise is expensive and this was no exception.
“It was also decided that having just Olympic flags would be at loggerheads with the other celebrations in the town this summer, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”
The flags idea was put forward by the town council in November as a way to help Shrewsbury get into party spirit ahead of the double celebration of this year’s Olympic games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
It is hoped the flags, which will be made from PVC and will be washable, will be able to be used again in the future.
They will be hung from the same brackets that usually hold the Christmas trees in Shrewsbury, but will allow room for traditional hanging baskets to be placed underneath at a later stage.
Flags will also be donated to council buildings such as Rowley’s House museum in Barker Street. A window-dressing competition is also being considered.
A TERRITORY politician is under fire after he called a group of children “little pricks” for burning Australian Flag the writes David Wood – 31/1/12 – http://www.ntnews.com.au
Minister for Young Territorians Rob Knight made the remarks during a radio interview with Mix 104.9’s Pete Davies yesterday.
“For some little pricks (to) get there and stomp on our flag and set fire to it, there should be laws against it and there should be laws against burning the Territory flag as well,” Mr Knight said.
HAVE YOUR SAY
What do you think of the Minister’s remarks?
The CLP slammed the minister’s remarks saying they were inflammatory
“These children were only there because of the involvement of the adults who they had accompanied to the Parliament House protest,” the Opposition spokesman for Young Territorians Peter Styles said.
“While nobody condones the Australian flag being disrespected, Rob Knight would add more to the debate by tempering his language and targeting protest ringleaders, not children.”
Mr Knight’s spokesman Gino Luglietti last night denied Mr Knight had been referring to the children when he made the remark.
He said Mr Knight was talking about “a person who would use kids like that, small and insignificant”.
Mr Knight’s comments came during an extended interview with Mr Davies about the incident on Australia Day that saw protesters storm a function being attended by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Some of the protesters, including a 15-year-old girl and a young boy, burned the Australian flag outside Parliament House the next day.
“Those young kids … aided and abetted by their parents and adults … they should have a real hard look at themselves,” Mr Knight said on radio.
“To spit and to stomp on the Australian flag, and we’re coming up to ANZAC Day, we’re coming up to the commemoration of the bombing of Darwin, and we had those flags flying … that’s what we fought for.”