Sunday, April 3, 2011

Symbolism in Flags

This evening, I attended the Shaklee Dynamic Family Toastmasters meeting in Subang Jaya – where I was co-opted at the last minute to be the evaluator for Advanced speaker, Shirley Bak. I did my job and I was even voted the Best Evaluator. But this could not dispel the lethargic sense of languor that overpowered me. Maybe because today is a Sunday!

I was surfing the Net and I found this news story. On July 29, 2010, Malawi's government had decided to change their national flag. The new flag features a full sun instead of the old flag's half-rising sun, which President Bingu wa Mutharika said was "inherited from the British as part of their claim that they had brought light in darkness". (Webpage, posted August 08, 2010).

"We cannot permanently live in the past," Mutharika said when it was launched. The information minister Leckford Thotho told AFP: "The symbol of the half rising sun at independence made a lot of sense because it was dawn for freedom and hope – but there has been a lot of development that has taken place since and we cannot still be at dawn". A BBC News report dated August 16, 2010 had Malawi's government even warning their citizens of arrest and prosecution if they display the country's old national flag! Indeed, a compelling study in symbolism.

Arsenal's Premier League title aspirations suffered yet another significant setback as 10-man Blackburn battled their way to a deserved point. The game ended in a scoreless draw. Arsenal is a big disappointment.

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