Governor-General and national flag

I take this opportunity to first congratulate Dr. Cecile La Grenade on her appointment and wish her good health and best wishes during her term of office.

It behooves all persons to refer to the Governor-General with the proper designation applicable to the holder of that high office as laid down in the Constitution of Grenada, Chapter II Section 19, reads as follows: “There shall be a Governor-General of Grenada who shall be appointed by Her Majesty’s representative in Grenada”. Nowhere in the Constitution is the Governor-General referred to as “HEAD OF STATE”.

It follows that it is erroneous for anyone to so refer to the Holder of that position. I contend that the Governor-General could never be the Head of State of Grenada, as there cannot be two (2) Heads of State. Has her Majesty issued a new dispensation or designation in this regard?

Reference to the Governor-General as Head of State has been made by our Prime Minister, Lew Smith and others in the media.

It seems to me that so many of us do not bother to know and do the right thing but tend to “do our own thing”.

The New WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY of the English Language defines “Governor-General” thus: A high-ranking, esp. (Br.) the Crown’s representative in a dominion or colony.

Since 1974 when Grenada became a Sovereign Independent State, the Governor-General is required, before entering upon the duties of that office, to take and subscribe the oath of allegiance and the oath of office.

My question is, if the Governor-General is “Head of State” to whom is he/she taking and subscribing the oath of allegiance? Obviously, if the designation is correct, then there will be no need to take an oath of allegiance to oneself.

I am always perturbed also when I hear things said wrongly or, in the case of my pet horse, The National Flag, having been changed and made to be nothing but another piece of cloth, quite contrary to what was the original Flag and which has been clearly defined in an Act 17 of 1999, as being of the colours RED, GREEN and GOLD.

Why then do we subscribe allegiance to a piece of cloth that is not our National Flag as defined in the Act and does not conform to the original flag?

The original flag, as I remember it, has depicted on it an open nutmeg with the Mace being split by the development of the Nut, as is generally and commonly seen on the tree.

The ORIGINAL flag, our Country’s Birth Certificate, was registered, as required by the then first Prime Minister, Mr. Eric M Gairy, to be among the Commonwealth Flags, ceremoniously folded and presented by the first High Commissioner for Grenada in London to her Majesty’s Herald of Arms at the College of Arms at the Tower of London.




Unless there have been changes in the safekeeping of our Flag at the Tower, I am sure that it could still be seen there among the registered Commonwealth Flags.

In addition to the matter of the flag the original Coat-of-Arms has also been changed by substitution of the DOVE for the RAIMER.

Was any reference made to the College of Arms, who designed or assisted in the design of our Coat-of-Arms?

I have attempted to have our High Commissioner in London locate the Flag and have a photo of it sent to me in order to show that we do not now have a National flag as was designed and registered at the time our country gained Independence.

This was done after discussion with the then Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas, and the Head of Protocol, Mrs. Alice Roberts. I have also approached Mr. Selwyn Strachan to see if he could throw some light as to the whereabouts of the original flag or whether it was destroyed – So far no joy.

By the way, it is instructive to note that the Governor-General does not have a “FLAG” as such. It is regarded as an ENSIGN, a symbol of office.

I write this is an effort to have our teachers educate the children under their care as to the correct thing or reference of importance, which they are being wrongly told about.

This year during the Independence Celebrations, school children in St. Mark’s were on the street waving so-called miniature flags, some upside down, and shouting, RED GREEN and YELLOW, as their teachers instructed them.

How unfortunate for our children. As an old song says, “When will they ever learn!”

It seems that we are more comfortable with a feeble excuse rather than correct the wrong. Will someone in authority please, wake up and do something to correct the wrongs in our society, some of which are so obvious, including Traffic matters?

 

CECIL Z. EDWARDS

 

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