A Former Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Mr. J. Emmanuel Bowier has proposed a change in the country’s national motto, ‘The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here’ to that of ‘The Love of Liberty Brought All Here’.
He said the motto has been interpreted as referring to the freed slaves who landed on the Providence Island on January 7, 1822, thereby leaving out the natives who they (freed slaves) met here as not being part of this ‘us’.
Speaking as the National Flag Day Orator, at the Monrovia City Hall Tuesday, Mr. Bowier said: “I agreed that there should be a change in the Motto, not the seal, not the flag, that is a historical document, the three colors Red, White and Blue, representing the colony of Montserrado, Bassa and Sinoe. So I see nothing wrong with the flag, it has not offended us, let us leave it alone and deal only with the development arising”.
He said the what the use of the “us” in the motto depicts is a an exclusion-a few that excludes the majority of the people, while ‘ALL ‘means inclusive considering Liberians from all walks of life.
He described the issue as an old debate, which dates back from the Williams V. S. Tubman’s administration but could not be talked about because “the old man took no mess” but the issue became revenant under the late President Richard Tolbert’s regime.
Mr. Bowier said the debate centering on the change of Liberia’s Motto, which is farfetched continues up to the 1985 constitutional amendment in Gbarnga, saying that, that convention changed many parts of the constitution but did not touch the flag, the seal and the Motto.
He questions the rational in leaving the seal, flag and motto untouched saying the framers of the 1985 convention were the same people who advocated for changes in these national symbols in the 70s.
He stressed: “All the time I knew that there was a positive size of the Liberian history, those who knew much see nothing much wrong with the Liberian history, they came to condemn a lot of things that should be explained”.
He pointed out “all of us came here from somewhere and that is why the Love of Liberty Brought ALL here”. He said some of us ran from war, some came in search of economic freedom and social freedom and that we are all stocked here as marrying to each other as one family and therefore continue to live together as one nation, one people with one destine.
Mr. Bowier indicated that the Bassa, Gio, Manos, Kahn, Gola, Via, Mandingoes, the Kru among other tribe were migrants from elsewhere to Liberia and therefore the history was a big book of joke which we need to collate and write about and not fight among ourselves about.
He believes that every history in the world stands on three pillars, such as good, bad and ugly; therefore Liberia is not the only country which has a bad or ugly history.