Right around the corner

Right around the corner

Paying mind to Flag Day especially at local schools may be considered a positive tradition. While Saint Martin’s Day on November 11 – celebrating peaceful co-existence between the Dutch and French sides of the island – has often been called “national holiday” in St. Maarten, it isn’t.

National symbols including the flag and coat of arms remain important particularly because they instil patriotism and pride. These are essential ingredients in a country’s development.

Of course, some see them as colonial and would prefer the unity flag of “Soualiga.” By the same token, efforts to recognise “O Sweet Saint Martin’s Land” as anthem will continue to be opposed largely due to the mention of Columbus, even though that’s what children learn and adults use at ceremonies for many years already.

In any case, there is certainly nothing wrong with honouring St. Maarten’s official and internationally acknowledged flag come June 13, whether on a vehicle or otherwise. Promoting a sense of self-worth builds character and can be beneficial to a people’s progress.

That’s why it’s regrettable that the flag at Bell’s Lookout Point on Cole Bay Hill has not been flown for a long time. The flags kept tearing up and the pole reportedly needed to be taken down for structural adjustments. However, that was said many months ago.

It is even referred to as “Emmanuel’s Flag” after then VROMI Minister Christophe Emmanuel, who had it installed following Hurricane Irma. He is the leader of current coalition party Nation Opportunity Wealth (NOW), so one would hope this matter receives some attention soon.

It might be not be feasible to get the flag securely back up in one week, but Emancipation Day is July 1. That’s also right around the corner.

The Daily Herald

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