The Vice Chairperson of the Governance Commission, Elizabeth SeleMulbah, has urged Liberians to seriously respect the country’s cultural and national symbols because they are relevant and used in the African setting to communicate.
Speaking as a panelist Thursday, 10 September at the Ministry of Information in Monrovia, MsMulbah said Liberia’s National and Cultural Symbols are not respected by Liberians, noting that anybody can make the national flag of Liberia. She stressed that before anybody can make a National symbol, that person should licensed by the State.
She noted that the reality of a cultural mosaic or the idea of being heirs to a triple heritage of African, Islamic and Western with Christianity seems to escape Liberians, noting, “Knowledge of our history and founding ideals remain areas of immense contestation. After almost two centuries of political independence, we have yet to establish whether we are a nation based on a set of ideas or one based on a federation of ethnicities such as Sao Boso’s Condo Confederation of the 19th Century.”
The GC vice said, as the nation is faced with issues of a common identity, it is necessary to continuously explain the various national symbols-such as the National Flag, the National Seal, the National Anthem and the various National Awards, which constitutes the core of the national symbols as expressions or brand names of the Liberian people.
According to her, some historical places in Liberia have been misused, saying that the Providence Island, which is a historical place, is being used by Liberians to play football. Ms. Mulbah said Liberians need to affirm the belief that what unites them is far greater than what divides them.
She said a sense of national identity is necessary to enable individual Liberians transcend self or ethnic group absorption and commit to the common good without which Liberia can neither reconcile nor genuinely pursue the lofty goals of Vision 2030 as expressed in the Vision Statement or slogan:“One People, One Nation United for Peace and Sustainable Development.”
“A Nation’s symbols play a subtle but important function in the formation and expression of national identity, national symbols are deeply rooted in a national narrative and as a result, symbols communicate two-fold message that has both an internal and external components”, she explained.