Your Weekly Motivation
As our country just observed 45 years as an independent nation this past Tuesday, July 10, 2018, hundreds of Bahamian Flags can still be seen swaying in the wind adorning many vehicles on our streets. This National Symbol, in my opinion, is the epitome of national pride for patriotic Bahamians.
The flag so brilliantly and thoughtfully designed by Rev. Dr. Hervis Bain, a Bahamian artist who also designed our country’s National Coat of Arms, played a significant role 45 years ago on July 10, 1973 as thousands of proud Bahamians looked on as the British Union Jack flag was lowered and the Bahamian flag hoisted for the first time.
Many persons do not seem to understand the importance of our national flag and all that it represents. A country’s flag is a symbol of national pride that should be revered and respected by all. This is why our country’s National Pledge says, “I pledge my allegiance to the flag and to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas for which it stands, one people united in love and service.” When we stand facing our flag with our right hand across our chest and repeat those words, we are pledging our loyalty and devotion to our flag and country.
Our flag is more than just a piece of cloth that is aquamarine, gold and black in color but instead when we see the flag hoisted and swaying in the wind we should reflect on the true meaning of its design and what the colors symbolize.
According to Bahamian Flag.Com, “The colors embodied in the design of the flag of The Bahamas symbolize the image and aspirations of the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The design reflects aspects of the natural environment, sun, sand and sea, and the economic and social development. The design of the flag is a black equilateral triangle against the mast, superimposed on a horizontal background made up of two colors on three equal stripes of aquamarine, gold and aquamarine. Black, a strong color, represents the vigor and force of a united people, the triangle pointing towards the body of the flag represents the enterprise and determination of the Bahamian people to develop and possess the rich resources of sun and sea symbolized by the gold and aquamarine respectively.”
If we all have pride in our flag and all that it represents, we should never see a flag in the front of any home or business, tattered and torn or faded in color.
There are certain protocols established to show respect to our country’s flag. Basic flag etiquette applies to all nations, including The Bahamas. Some of these protocols or etiquette include:
• The flag should never be allowed to drag along the ground
• A tattered or faded flag of The Bahamas should be removed and replaced with a new flag
• When disposing of the flag that is not in a good condition, it should be done in a dignified way such as burning in private and not just thrown in a garbage bin
• The National flag of The Bahamas should be flown between sunrise and sunset. If flown at night, proper lighting is required.
• The national Flag of The Bahamas should fly higher than other flags. No other flag should take precedence over our country’s flag.
• When being carried in a parade our national flag should never be dipped. Care must be taken that it does not touch the ground.
• When two flags are being flown, the national flag should be on the left
• The National flag should always be hoisted first and taken down last. It is a symbol of sovereignty
These are a few of the protocols established for our flag. The next time you see a Bahamian flag, think on these things. Reflect on its rich meaning; the black that represents the vigor and force of a united people. Are we truly a united people determined to develop our rich resources thus developing our land? Let us all develop a new appreciation and pride for our flag. Let us truly understand the words of our National Pledge, “I pledge my allegiance to the flag and to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas for which it stands, one people united in love and service”. Let us not pledge allegiance to political parties but instead to our nation. We are all Bahamians, let us work together for a better Bahamas and always wave our flags with pride.
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