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 http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iTvX1P7SS3SJzto4zrdkZU9hAe_A, 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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