Let’s be consistent on flag use
20 January 2020 | Opinion
Cabinet secretary George Simataa’s letter to police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga, dated 14 January, seems to originate from the fact that certain Namibians have started wearing shirts bearing national colours while attending political activities.
In principle, the directive is correct. But in reality, the flag has been used for all kinds of unholy purposes for years without anyone acting.
It thus sounds hypocritical that when it has become too hot in the political kitchen, we suddenly want to act on the ‘abuse’ of the flag.
Everyone can tell where this sudden discomfort is coming from. But perhaps we also need to start interpreting the specific Act that pertains to the use of the national flag in a manner that is impartial and fair to all citizens.
So far selectivity has engulfed the manner in which we supposedly want the flag to be used, conveniently ignoring our own unholy abuse of that flag.
True, we have seen extraordinary scenes in the build-up to last year’s tightly contested elections armies of citizens attending political rallies in full gear of the national colours.
This was particularly a common sight at Panduleni Itula’s rallies. At Swapo rallies, similar scenarios were noticed too. Sometimes government vehicles carrying senior government figures arrived at party rallies with flags erected on their bonnets. This has gone on for decades.
How does this then become only an issue in 2019 and 2020 when the nation is at the crossroads of political uncertainty? What is good for the goose, as the say goes, must be good for the gander too.
We must park the hypocrisy and treat all citizens equally. We are of the view that indeed the flag must not be sabotaged for parochial political purposes – but this must apply to all and sundry.