Guest Contributor | Feb 27, 2024 | 0
ICT minister launches national symbols campaign in Kunene
By Clifton Movirongo.
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology officially launched the National Symbols Campaign in the Kunene region as part of the Nationhood and National Pride programme to raise awareness of the national symbols.
The minister, Hon Dr Peya Mushelenga, said at the launch that it “serves as a powerful platform” to raise awareness about the protocols and significance surrounding our precious national symbols, noting that national anthems foster relationships among individual citizens.
The minister added: “National anthems foster a spirit of collective interest as opposed to individualism, illustrated by the use of words like “we” and “our” and these words catapult members of a community into a single identity. They inculcate in the minds of citizens the essence of associative existence.”
“The national anthem of our country connects the people of this region to other Namibians. It ties all of us in a bond of brotherliness and sisterhood. Further, the singing of national anthems invokes reverence to core values of the nation, like unity, love and loyalty to the nation,” Mushelenga said.
He further remarked that the anthem educates Namibians about the history and geography of their country. “It underscores acts of bravery where compatriots paid priceless sacrifices for us to enjoy freedom and independence. Hence, we stand up when we sing the anthem to give them unconditional respect and take cognizance of their prominence in our history and center stage in our victory,” he noted.
Moreover, international law mandates that a ship sailing on the high seas be “conferred” the nationality of the nation under which it “is registered” and should fly a flag of that state, said the minister, adding that the law prohibits a ship from flying the flags of more than one state.
According to him, national flags are also “common” sights at international sports events, where sportsmen and women proudly carry their respective national flags. He elaborated that this invokes a sense of pride among nationals when they observe one of their own keeping the flag high at these sports events.
“As for national flags, they are sacred symbols and need to be treated with the utmost respect. In some countries, disrespect for national flags has severe consequences. This is because of the intricate relationships that flags have with their nations. National flags affirm the sovereignty of their respective states, as argued by the University of Oxford academic Gabriella Elgenius in her discourse titled National flags: the politicization and sanctification of a nation.”
Mushelenga said the discourse maintained that: “National flags have remained successful political symbols over centuries because they authenticate boundaries by symbolizing commonality. Physically, flag poles displayed on either side of territorial border crossings highlight such claims as the flags here eliminate ambiguity. Flags are used to bestow honour on allies, but their usage also extends to dishonour or condemn enemies.”