Let’s cel­e­brate wav­ing our ban­ner blue

Fiji Sun - - Comments - ROSI DOVIVERATA Feed­back: rosi.doviverata@fi­jisun.com.fj

We all felt what Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama felt at Deodora Sta­dium when our na­tional flag was hoisted with the sweet sound of the na­tional an­them in the Sev­ens Rugby medal pre­sen­ta­tion. It was a mov­ing mo­ment, the sym­bol of our na­tion­hood, flut­ter­ing proudly above the flags of Great Bri­tain and South Africa, two proud rugby na­tions. This was the first time it had done so in an Olympic Games be­cause it was our first medal and it was gold.

This ban­ner blue will al­ways be linked to this his­toric oc­ca­sion. So when Mr Bain­i­marama said it had been deeply mov­ing for him to wit­ness the way Fi­jians had ral­lied around the na­tional flag, as we cel­e­brated our gold win­ning per­for­mance, we un­der­stood. The ban­ner blue has be­come a sym­bol of our Olympic suc­cess and the cel­e­bra­tions have just started. Yes, most Fi­jians agree with him. Even his po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents agree with him. Fi­jians from here and abroad, cap­ti­vated by the gold medal, are rel­ish­ing the mo­ment. The cel­e­bra­tions will con­tinue even af­ter the of­fi­cial cel­e­bra­tions next Mon­day. And the flag they will hold aloft is the ban­ner blue. It is a mo­ment etched in the mem­ory of ev­ery Fi­jian. For the du­ra­tion of the game and the cel­e­bra­tions that fol­lowed, the Fi­jian flag has been draped on bod­ies, hung from win­dows, build­ings, trucks, cars, buses and any­thing ca­pa­ble of al­low­ing it to fly. It has in­deed been a proud mo­ment. While Mr Bain­i­marama re­mains con­vinced per­son­ally that we need to re­place some of the flag’s colo­nial sym­bols with a gen­uinely in­dige­nous ex­pres­sion of our fu­ture, he says it has been ap­par­ent to Govern­ment since Fe­bru­ary that the flag should not be changed for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

He is right by say­ing that it is a ques­tion of re­set­ting na­tional pri­or­i­ties as our peo­ple con­tinue to re­cover from Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston. The cost of any flag change is bet­ter spent help­ing Fi­jians re­cover. We should heed his call and come out with our flags to wel­come our cham­pion Olympians on Sun­day in Nadi and on Mon­day in Suva. Shops are al­ready tak­ing ad­van­tage of the oc­ca­sion with flags and Tee-shirts on sale.

As aptly put by the Prime Min­is­ter, “It is def­i­nitely a time to cel­e­brate not only their re­mark­able achieve­ment but our col­lec­tive unity and na­tional sense of pur­pose.”

Princess Anne presents the Team Fiji Olympic Men’s 7s team with their gold medals at Deodoro Sta­dium on Au­gust 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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