Friday, June 7, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
Following are remarks by Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes on the occasion of the launch of the official countdown to the 40th Anniversary of Independence in The Bahamas June 4, 2013:
We speak in different ways. We speak with the language of words, with the language of music and art, with the language of gestures and demeanour, with the language of rituals and ceremonies, and with the language of symbols.
Our tricolour flag is the principal symbol of our country and our nation, and of our aspirations. In its gold and aquamarine stripes it speaks to us about the natural wealth and beauty of the land and the seas.
These bright stripes speak to us about our natural patrimony, which displays some of the great beauty of planet Earth. They speak to us about the wealth with which Divine Providence in history and nature has blessed us.
They speak to us about our waters of crystal clarity and incredible jewel-like shades of blue and green. They speak to us about our lakes, creeks and blue holes, about our incomparable beaches, about our spectacular reefs, about the immeasurable wealth of our marine life, and about the sunshine and the trade winds.
These bright stripes speak to us about the great gifts of the land including many plants, the aroma of which wafted over the water, greeting European visitors in October 1492.
They speak of the spectacular avian life comprised of many species of birds including the Woodstar hummingbird, the roseate spoonbill and the most beautiful and elegant West Indian flamingo.
In its equilateral black triangle penetrating the gold and aquamarine stripes, our flag speaks to us about ourselves as a people. The colour black has intrigued artists, writers and poets, and has been used for different purposes throughout human history.
The Italian designer Gianni Versace said: “Black is the quintessence of simplicity and elegance.” The great French artist Henri Matisse said: “When I didn’t know what colour to put down, I put down black. Black is a force; I used black as ballast to simplify the construction.”
The colour black in our flag speaks about what is best in us: about the simplicity and elegance of our people, about our religious and philosophical foundations which, like ballast in a painting or in a ship, lends us stability.
The colour black speaks to us about our strength as a people, about the talents, industry and imagination which we apply in the orderly use of our natural heritage and in its defence against abuse and exploitation.
The colour black speaks to the combined gifts of us all regardless of creed, ethnicity, gender or other circumstance of history or birth. We are One Bahamas.
This, then, is our flag, our bright banner, and what it says to us and to the world about our heritage, our aspirations and who we are.
Officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force,
Officers of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force:
I command you to take this flag throughout the length and breadth of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, signifying our unity as a people and as a family of islands, and to return it to our nation’s capital on July 9, 2013, where it will be hoisted at midnight. May it fly over a united and independent Bahamas forever.