The People’s Progressive Party has lambasted Government “on the despicable and unconstitutional alteration of Guyana’s national flag” hoisted at D’Urban Park to mark the nation’s 52nd Independence anniversary as “intent on trampling” on Guyana’s national symbols.
In a release on Tuesday, the PPP said, “Guyanese have witnessed the practice of national symbols being treated as the property of this Administration – the last such act evidenced in the seizure of the national flag from the Corriverton Town Council on the anniversary of our Republic.”
With regard to alteration of the national flag, the party said, “The Second Schedule included in Guyana’s Constitution devotes two pages (pages 260 and 261) to the heraldic description of Guyana’s national flag. The description makes it clear that there are five distinct colours – not six – and defines their proportions.”
The “unauthorized alteration of the national flag”, the PPP said, “connects one of Guyana’s most significant national symbols to the People’s National Congress Reform” via the inclusion of that party colour along the end of the flag and it was reminiscent of “the repressive regime of the PNC pre-1992.”
The national flag that was flown and as seen in pictures shows the border of the flag in a darker shade of the green.
The PPP said, “The practice of the PNC flag being flown above Guyana’s courts has not been forgotten by the Guyanese people.”
Guyanese have not forgotten, the party said, President David Granger’s comments in 2016 at the PNCR’s 19th Biennial Delegates Congress, where he said the party’s constitution was “supreme law” and they have not forgotten that it was at a similar meeting held by the PNC in 1974, where then President Forbes Burnham promoted the principles of party paramountcy. The PPP quoted Burnham as saying, “It was decided that the Party should assume unapologetically its paramountcy over the Government, which is merely one of its executive arms.”
Calling on Guyanese to reject the alteration of the flag, the PPP said, “This act is the latest of an increasingly authoritarian administration and adds to the numerous constitutional violations committed since May 2015.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Social Cohesion Dr George Norton yesterday told Stabroek News that he only learnt about the flag yesterday after it was brought to his attention by the media.
“I did not know about it. We should not have hoisted a damaged flag,” he said. It was unfortunate that the PPP, he said, was trying to make political mileage out of the issue.
Minister in the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon told Stabroek News that the PPP’s release was foolish to suggest that the party in Government was trying to use its colours on the flag. “It is stretching the imagination to accept a position like that.”
Not knowing what took place, he said, he could only suggest that the edges of the flag might have been frayed and some amount of remedial work was done to stabilize the flag.