It is sad that 50 years as an independent state has not resulted in us, as Guyanese, being proud of and having respect for our national symbols. These symbols of nationhood represent one of the first steps we took following the casting off of the shackles of colonialism. They are proof that we are a free nation and are no longer ruled by any other…
Over the years, I have observed their misuse, especially that of the national flag. People paste the national flag on backwards as a form of decoration, they use it as a table cloth or curtain, they wear the flag as an item of clothing (sometimes cutting the flag for specific fittings) and throw the unwanted flags on the grounds after celebrations, (where people walk on them). Whenever possible, I intervened and had positive results the majority of times which highlights that not everyone who uses the flag inappropriately is aware of the disrespect. There is a need for education on the proper use of the national symbols – particularly the flag. It would be helpful if we can have a Guyana Flag Code similar to that of the United States of America or the Republic of India which can be consulted so that the dishonor does not occur time and again. Note: I couldn’t find any documentation about the use/misuse of the national flag, if you are aware of any such documentation I would appreciate it if you can forward me that information.
Please, don’t misunderstand me. I love to see the Golden Arrowhead as I feel a sense of pride. However, this should be done in a proper manner. If people want to create a feeling of ‘oneness’ and togetherness, especially at national events, then use the symbols appropriately. Maybe the colors of the flag can be used, in proportion to how they are represented on the flag, however, the actual use of the flag inappropriately (I’ve given a few examples above) needs to be condemn.
Do you remember that line from our national pledge? It goes like this, “I pledge myself to honor always the Flag of Guyana…” To me, the use of flag instead of coat-of-arms or any other national symbol means something. The design and colors of our flag all have deep symbolism and when I say the national pledge and look at the flag I get this feeling which screams ‘I am a proud Guyanese.’ By making a pledge to the Golden Arrowhead, flying high and proud in the winds, I am making a commitment “…to be loyal to my country, to be obedient to the laws of Guyana, to love my fellow citizens, and to dedicate my energies towards the happiness and prosperity of Guyana.”
The flag is important, it is symbolic; to the world it says GUYANA. Let us treat it with the respect it deserves.