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Globoport - a hírkikötő

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Malawians warned against possessing old national flag

  • Írta: GloboPORT szerkesztőség
newmalawiThe Malawi government has warned citizens who still possess the old national flag that they risk arrest and prosecution.

Newly-appointed Information Minister Symon Vuwa Kaunda, told a press conference it was against the law to continue flying the old flag.

The new flag was launched last Saturday by President Bingu wa Mutharika after the national assembly passed the amended 'Flags, Emblem and Names Act'.

The new flag, with red at the top, black in the middle and green at the bottom complete with a full sun in the middle, replaces the old one (black, red and green with a rising sun super-imposed on the top black colour).

In the old flag, the black stripe represents the people of Africa while the colour red stands for the blood spilled as the southern African country struggled for independence. The colour green symbolizes the country's vegetation and the rising sun represents the dawn of freedom and hope on the African continent.

Launching the new flag in the capital, Lilongwe, amid resistance from a cross section of individuals and interest groups, President Mutharika argued that Malawi had developed tremendously since independence from British colonialists in 1964.

He said it did not make sense to still describe Malawi as 'a nation at dawn' 46 years after independence.

But opponents described the reasons behind the change as unconvincing and unrealistic and the cost of changing the flag as unnecessary.

'We don't agree with the proposed changes,' read a statement by a group of Catholic priests. 'Do we have to change everything that bears the old flag? We could have better usage for that money considering that this year some parts of Malawi w ill starve.'

The flag change has elicited a lot of debate in newspaper columns, radio phone-in programmes and social circles, including churches, mosques and bars.

Traditional leaders backed government for the change but most civil society orga nizations and opposition parties said Malawi was way too behind in development to justify the flag change.

'The old flag has lots of history and meaning,' said Nancy Tembo, spokesperson for the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP). 'We shouldn't tamper with historical landmarks just to suit some ego.'

PANA reports that on Friday, six days after the president inaugurated the new flag, most government offices, including police offices, are still flying the old flag.

'We haven't been told officially and we don't have the new flag,' said an officer-in-charge of a police post in Blantyre. 'We have, by law, to fly a flag every morning and since we only have the old flag we have no choice.'

But the Information minister insists the new flags are now available at governme nt stores throughout the country.

Source. www.nyasatimes.com

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