Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I Got My National Flag Today

Today, I got the flag of my country, Tanzania. Its colours bear symbolic significance. The green represents our beautiful land, the yellow our minerals. The black stands for the people, while the blue represents our country's water bodies, notably the Indian Ocean, lakes, and rivers.

The immediate impulse for my buying the flag has been my experience in festivals where participants represent their countries bearing their national flags. I felt bad being in those situations without my national flag.

One of the most unforgettable, if not embarrassing, experiences was the International Faribault Festival held on August 23, 2014. I watched from my vendor table while other Festival participants stood on the main stage bearing their national flags, said a few words about their countries, and then paraded in single file, to place their flags in the middle of the open space where they fluttered the whole day. I vowed to get my own flag.

Like most people, I love my country, but I was also taught, as I was growing up, to respect all countries. We desired to be friends with any country on the basis of mutual respect, and we would not allow anyone, even our friends, to choose our enemies for us. Such was the blend of nationalism and internationalism our first president, Julius Nyerere, inculcated in us, which has guided our country since the earliest days.

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