Like previous years, August 24, 2015 was celebrated as National Flag Day across Liberia against the backdrop of a Presidential Proclamation issued last week,declaring the day a National Holiday in consonance with an Act of the Liberian Legislature, approved on October 25, 1915.
Even though Presidential Proclamations have always challenged Liberians to commemorate National Flag Day in testimony of their allegiance and loyalty to the national ensign-the embodiment of the country’s existence as a sovereign entity and to encourage national pride and Patriotism, it is an open secret that there is indeed a diminishing dignity and respect for the Liberian Flag throughout the country at all levels.
Previously, especially prior to the Liberian civil crisis, the flag could be seen hoisted not only on small and large poles erected at public buildings and school campuses, but from windows of buildings; tied to or pasted on to antennas, and to the front and rear of vehicles, especially on ‘Flag Day’.
Unfortunately, the dignity and respect befitting our national ensign is no more honored – only because our value system has completely diminished. Like in other countries, especially the United States after which the Liberian Flag is replicated, the Flag is the symbol of unity that strengthens the people’s resolve with love for their country, requiring all citizens to roll up their sleeves, put aside their political, religious and other differences with the highest sense of patriotism against the enemies of poverty, corruption, as well as other negative vices hindering the development and progress of the nation.
But in our dear country – Liberia, our lost value system, especially respect for our Flag, continues to render confused and divisive. Of course, all is not lost – the challenge is still ours to restore “what the locusts have eaten”.
And as the nLiberian educational system undergoes the much talk-about reform, the urgent need for the inclusion of Liberian History and Civics (or whatever the government may want to term it) cannot be over-emphasized.
It is an established fact that the lack of understanding of many Liberians, mainly the young people, of their own history and governance system is an attributing factor of our lost value system. And once these two subjects/courses are reintroduced into the national education curriculum as major subjects and required courses, the beginning of restoring our value system is eminent.
Our plea to the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Education, as the educational system undergoes reform, is to ensure the reintroduction/inclusion of Liberian History and Civics as major subjects/courses in the curriculum of our national educational system so that we all learn our history and governance process so as to minimize the gross disrespect among the population, especially the young people, and restore our value system, including the respect and love our Flag once had.