St. Maarten Government hosts “serious celebration” for Flag Day

POSTED: 06/14/12 12:41 PM

Designer of the St. Maarten Flag Rosie Richardson, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams and Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Silveria Jacobs lead the toast during Wednesday’s Flag Day ceremony at the Government Administration Building. (DCOMM photo)

St. Maarten – Wednesday’s Flag Day ceremony was heavy on the serious and had less of a feeling of celebration. The highlights include a flag raising done by an officer each of the Fire Department and the Voluntary Korps St. Maarten and a dance by the Imbali Center for Creative Movement and Motiance Dance School.

The ordinance regulating the flag was established in 1995. Some ten years later – 2005 – the Executive Council adopted June 13 as Flag Day and in 2011 the Council of Ministers began organizing a ceremony to mark the occasion.

Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Silveria Jacobs wants to mark Flag Day every day and wants attention for the country’s national symbols.

“We wish to give honor to our flag. It is a symbol that unifies and identifies us. I want to promote having flag day to be celebrated like this every year and for all citizens of St. Maarten to own, fly and honor the flag. I would like to see the yellow sage growing in the garden of the government building and the brown pelican being protected,” Jacobs said.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams pointed out that many of the key dates where it comes to St. Maarten’s march for more autonomy. In the 1990s the country was on a march towards independence and then came a call for full internal self-governance with sovereign association. In the 2005, the country was in the middle of the “constitutional decade”, as talks continued around St. Maarten becoming a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. But Wescot-Williams considers the flag more than just part of a political struggle.

“A flag is a unifier. It represents a group, a nation, a people. It is a call to unite around a common purpose. This is our flag. It is a symbol that represents us,” Wescot-Williams said.

As part of the celebration flags were mounted along major roadways and at the Clem Labega Square.

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