The flag of any nation is a symbol of pride and unity. A nation’s flag can also be a symbol of disunity. Liberia is such a country whose flag it has been argued in many quarters is misrepresent instead of uniting its people. The Liberian flag is a symbol of what I referred to as “misrepresentation”. By misrepresentation, I mean its so-called national colors – red, white and blue (horizontal stripes of red and white and a blue field with one star) are a copy of the American flag plagiarized by Susannah Lewis who thought she was Betsy Ross, who is credited with making the first American flag. This irritation represents only a segment of the Liberian society and excludes the rest. And as such, the symbol doesn’t arouse the united front of the Liberian citizenry like the American flag.Public Policy 

Calls to change the Liberian flag grows louder



The Editor,

In 1905 British imperialist and businessman Sir Harry Johnston visited Liberia, and in his 1906 report, he imputed that the Lone Star flag and its colors “has no reference whatever to the characteristics of the Liberian Republic”. He recommended the adoption of the flag below.

The black would represent the dominant negro race in the country. The yellow would represent the African races which mingled anciently with the Caucasian – Mandingoes, and Fulas. The one white stripe would be the recognition that Liberia holds her existence to the impulse of White Americans. The Green field would represent the forest land of Africa of which Liberia has the richest forest, and the white star would represent the black man’s growing civilization in Africa.

Instead of the spearhead of the flag, he suggested a white cross with an olive branch indicative of Christianity and Peace since the small republic proclaimed Christianity and does not extend into the interior occupied by African Traditional Religions and Mohammedans (Muslims).

More than 100 years after Johnston there are still proposals for the review of our flag and its symbolism.

Ibrahim Nyei

Image may contain: stripes
composites of the two flags…photo credit; Ibrahim Nyei



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