The political leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress and chair of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Mr. Alexander B. Cummings has paid tributes to Liberian women for their contributions here saying August 24, which is celebrated every year as a national Flag Day is a reflection of Liberian women contributions here.
Mr. Cummings also echoed calls to change the country’s national symbol to reflect the diversities of all Liberians.
“I want to wish all Liberians a commemorative Flag Day. As we observe another Flag Day, may we take this moment to reflect on the many contributions of Liberian women to our society,” he wrote adding, “The making of the Flag by an all-women committee, led by Susannah Lewis, is just one of the many major contributions of Liberian women to the history and foundation of our country despite the many societal barriers they face.”
Cummings went on further to state that it is unfortunate that 173 years later, women’s political participation in the electoral politics and governance of the state is dismal. “We must be intentional about changing this and support women’s leadership, especially electoral-based,” he added.
“On this Flag Day, we must also reflect on our history and how it has been impartially told by our national symbols: the Seal, the Flag, and the Motto, all of which only tell the story of our settlers’ heritage, omitting the existence of our indigenous heritage. It is time to finally ensure that our national symbols reflect both sides of our history as a people and as a nation; that we all can see ourselves and the contributions of our ancestors in our national symbols. This call began in the 70s, pre-conflict era when Pres.
Tolbert instituted a 51 person committee that made recommendations for changes in our symbols. It continued up to Madam Sirleaf’s post-conflict administration, where several similar suggestions were also made.
In 2012 our National Flag Day Orator, Amb. Elwood Dunn called on the nation in his oration to rethink our national symbols as they do not reflect our oneness as Liberians. I agree, and today, I call on all Liberians, whether of settlers’ heritage, indigenous heritage, or both, to support a change in the national symbols to reflect our oneness.
This is how we unite. This is how we govern. This is how we build and fly our country’s flag higher. Together, as one,” he concluded.