By T.R Dixon
MONROVIA: The Orator of the 176 National Flag Day 2023, Mr. Wantoe Teah Wantoe, says Liberia, like other countries, is at a critical junction in its history.
He said as the demographic composition of Liberia leans heavily towards the youth, it is incumbent upon national leaders including elders to recognize the immense potential and influence that young people possess.
He implored the central government, opposition political parties, Coalitions and Alliances and other stakeholders to prioritize the inclusion of young people in the 10, October, 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections.
According to the Flag-Day National Orator, young people are the heartbeat of the Liberian Nation, representing 63 percent of its population, below age, 25.
He stressed that the voices and aspirations of the country’s youths must therefore be recognized and embraced.
He firmly believes that the path to peace during and after the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections in Liberia lies in enabling young people to become catalysts of positive change.
Mr. Wantoe noted that, this can be done by empowering them with knowledge, skills and opportunities.
“We can unleash their potential and channel their energy towards building a more united, vibrant, and prosperous Liberia.
“We must rid ourselves of divisive tribalism and instead embrace a clear progressive agenda that unifies our beloved nation,” he said.
Mr. Wantoe stressed that, young people must see themselves as integral part of a united Liberia, transcending tribal boundaries and working towards the common goal of peace and progress.
He encouraged young people to provide platforms for dialogue and positive engagements for the benefit of all and sundry.
He also admonished Liberians to nurture an environment that encourages exchange of ideals, constructive criticisms, and innovation by valuing the contributions of young people and their perspectives.
“We can forge a path of unity that transcends partisan’s politics,” he emphasized.
National Flag Day is one of the public holidays in Liberia. It is celebrated on August 24 each year to commemorate the adoption of the Liberian Flag in 1847.
On July 26, 1847, Liberia declared itself an Independent State.
The Liberian Flag resembles the flag of the United States. Historians say this resemblance reflects the origins of the country.
The Republic of Liberia was founded by former black slaves, who got freedom from American plantations and the Caribbean Islands.
Just like the American Flag, the flag of Liberia has red and white stripes and a blue field in the canton.
The Liberian Flag has eleven stripes, symbolizing the eleven signatories of the Declaration of Independence.
Red represents courage and white stands for moral excellence. The blue square is the symbol of the African mainland, and the white star on the blue field is the representation of the freedom given to the ex-slaves by their former slave masters.
Flag Day in Liberia has been observed since the adoption of the flag, but it became an official public holiday in 1915.
It is a patriotic holiday that aims to pay homage to the country’s national emblem.
It is marked with flag hoisting ceremonies and parades held throughout Liberia mainly by schools, military and paramilitary institutions.