Officials were unaware of the state of the damaged flag that was altered and hoisted at D’Urban Park on Independence eve, Minister of Social Cohesion George Norton has reiterated, while saying that provisions have now been made for replacements in light of the resulting concerns.
The flag in question showcased six colours—the traditional red, black, gold, white and green that are characteristic of the Golden Arrowhead, and a strip of forest green along one of its borders.
Norton, when contacted yesterday, told Stabroek News that it was “unfortunate that a damaged flag had to be repaired and hoisted.”
“I think before the hoisting of such a flag, all avenues should have been evaluated to see if we could avoid such. It was in the press before the flag was exposed to the constant badgering of the wind and so on up there. Persons were of the opinion that a flag cannot last more than probably three months. Already, we have put measures in place to have substitutes and so on, but had I known or had the other officials known of the status of that particular flag, I think every effort would have been made to avoid that situation,” the minister said.
Last week, the government was criticised by the opposition party, which castigated it for the “despicable and unconstitutional alteration of Guyana’s national flag.”
It called for all Guyanese to reject the alteration of the flag and stated that the act “connects one of Guyana’s most significant national symbols to the People’s National Congress Reform” and was reminiscent of “the repressive regime of the PNC pre-1992.”
Minister Norton had indicated then that he had only learnt about the alteration after news of it was published in the media, while Minister of State Joseph Harmon had speculated that the additional strip was remedial work done to the flag, the edges of which might have been frayed.