Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Dispatches from Swearing in of Nigerian Union Executive Members (Hungary)Part 3

Where was the National Flag on "Independence Day"?

Hakeem Babalola


The Nigerian National Flag, which is governed by the Flag and Coat-of-Arms Ordinance of 1960, is also the symbol of authority and instrument of state power. Next to Mother earth, it is the only National symbol worth dying for. It tells the history of a people and their aspirations.

Treatment of the National Flag

The National Flag is hoisted and flown ceremoniously and briskly in the morning and at sunrise and lowered slowly in the same manner in the evening at sunset (6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.). A flag does not sleep. The National Flag should always be hung and only on very rare occasions should it be laid out flat horizontally. The National Flag is usually flown at the peak of the hoist except on memorial days or during state funerals as a mark of respect. At such times it is flown at half-mast.

When the National Flag is in a room or hung anywhere, no other flag, emblem or insignia should be place higher than it should. Old or worn out flags must never be used or displayed. When a Flag becomes soiled, old, torn or mutilated, the cloth should be destroyed by burning or any other method with decorum and respect.

Nigerian National Flag Law

The law makes it an offence for the National Flag to be improperly used or displayed. Section 5 of the Law states; "any person who flies or exhibits the National Flag in a defaced or bad condition shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance."


I have taken pain to conduct some research on this topic simply to remind and, or educate the reader about the significance of Nigerian National Flag, which is divided vertically into three equal parts. The central part is white and the two other parts are green. The green of the flag represents agriculture and the white Unity and Peace. The white is immaculate white and the emerald green is popularly known as the Nigerian Green.

If the occasion in question was not dignified by the presence of Her Excellency, Ambassador Adeola Adebisi Obileye, I might not have worried myself too much. But since she said in her speech that the occasion was also to mark the 47th Independence Anniversary, I presume the day was important; even though we should make sure we celebrate Nigerian Independence Anniversary exactly on the day it falls. Methinks that is the beauty of such celebration.

I have to confess that I have a grudge to bear but against whom? I don’t know. Although I was not present at the occasion, I observed through pictures taken that the Nigerian National Flag was missing on the day it should be prominently displayed. However, if the flag was hoisted at the entrance, then it was not extensively done since, according to the displaying of the National Flag, certain rules must be followed.

For an audience in auditorium or hall, the flag should be on the right end of the first row.
For a speaker on the platform, the National Flag should be on the speaker's right hand as he or she faces the audience. Other flags can be on the left and take their position sideways both left and right. Unless the picture does tell lies, no flag was displayed on the right end of the first row or Madam Ambassador’s right hand.

Perhaps we should borrow one or two things from Nigerians in New York. During the 47th Independence Anniversary on Oct. 1st not Oct. 6th, Nigerians in New York followed the rules of displaying the National Flag by hoisting and carrying it along in a procession. What is worth doing is worth doing well.

copyright 2007 mysmallvoice@yahoo.com

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