Opinion

New Fiji Flag, Symbol Of Pride, Patriotism

Fiji needs a new flag to reflect the dawn of a new era in its political, social and economic evolution. Our ties with the British monarchy were cut when we
22 Jan 2015 11:01
New Fiji Flag, Symbol Of Pride, Patriotism
The coat of arms is a relic of the past

Fiji needs a new flag to reflect the dawn of a new era in its political, social and economic evolution.

Our ties with the British monarchy were cut when we became a republic.

The change renders the Union Jack, the symbol of the British Empire, on the top left of the Fiji flag, irrelevant.

Fiji will steal a march on Australia and New Zealand who have become part of a small group of former British colonies to keep the Union Jack on their flags, if  it rolls out the new flag this year. There has been a lot of debates about changing the flag in the two countries but successive governments have not had the political courage to make the change.

In January, 2013, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, in his New Year address announced Fiji was getting a new flag.

It’s time. Fiji needs a new flag to reflect the dawn of a new era in its political, social and economic evolution.

Our ties with the British monarchy were cut when we became a republic.

That change renders the Union Jack, the symbol of the British Empire, on the top left of the current Fijian flag irrelevant.

If we move now Fiji will steal a march on Australia and New Zealand.

They have become part of a dwindling group of former British colonies to keep the Union Jack on their flags.

New Zealand is already seriously considering a change. Prime Minister John Key has promoted it.

Here there has been past discussion about changing the flag but successive governments have not had the political courage to make the change.

No longer. In January, 2013, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, in his New Year address, announced Fiji was getting a new flag.

The time is now right, after the restoration of parliamentary democracy.

The new flag should be a symbol of inclusiveness in the new Fiji.

 

To start with, we need to retain the “noble banner blue” in the lyrics of our national anthem which we sing so patriotically.

Out go the Union Jack and the Coat of Arms, relics of the past that we can dispose of. Royalists or monarchists will spring to the defence   of the Union Jack. But they are a dwindling group trying to hold on to a token, sentimental reminder of colonialism and British dominance.

As we discuss this subject, a Fijian parliamentary delegation led by Speaker Jiko Luveni, is on its way to London as guests of the British Government. Mrs Luveni, Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa, Secretary-General to Parliament Viniana Namosimalua and Pio Tikoduadua, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport will study the British Westminster model of parliament.

Fiji has modelled its parliaments since Independence in 1970 on Westminster.

While there is no planned meeting with the Queen, the British hope the delegation’s visit will rekindle the closer ties that existed between Fiji and Britain before the 2006 takeover. And maybe, that could help influence public support for the retention of the Union Jack.

There will without doubt be some vocal opposition to any change.

Like the royalists and monarchists, Fijian conservatives are expected to passionately defend the Coat of Arms because of what they claim is its historical significance.

But they live in a past that contained some of the darkest periods of our history that are best forgotten.

That history is not totally lost because it is well documented in books, on-line, published research papers and essays.

One of the symbols in the Coat of Arms should be retained, though. It is the coconut tree.

It appropriately represents our inclusiveness as a nation. It is a symbol of national pride and evokes patriotism on the international sporting stage.

Our Vodafone rugby sevens heroes will go through a well rehearsed ritual as they placed their hands on their left chest on top of the rugby logo, the coconut tree, and sing the national anthem if they are in the final at the Cake Tin in Wellington on February 7.

So our new Fijian flag should be simple, blue background with a cococonut tree in the middle.

That’s the opinion from here.

What do you think? Email your replies to nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




Subscribe to E-Edition
pacific island top up
Air Nuigini
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: