It seems that Belize might never run out of controversies, whether it’s about our national anthem, flag or whatever. This is so because of our different diversities: ethnic, racial, religious, cultural, political, linguistic, and so on and so forth. The country of Belize is made up of various unique nations (Maya, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, East Indian, Chinese, Mennonites, to name a few). We have immigrants from North America, Europe, Asia, and other geographic areas.
Add to this the influx of refugees from around the world who call Belize home, and we have a real potpourri of races and skin colors. While we are many nations, we have a common identity: WE ARE BELIZEANS. Our citizenship is Belizean. We are proud to travel with a passport that identifies us as Belizeans.
The latest controversy has to do with our national flag and the color of skin of one of the personages. Originally, at Independence on 21st September 1981, one was dark and the other fair-skinned. In the late 1990s, just before the turn of the millennium, one of the personages underwent a subliminal metamorphosis from fair-skinned to slightly pale yellow. (I “suspish” this flag was “Made in Taiwan.”)
Flag of national unity
I do not believe in jingoism (inflamed nationalism), but our Belizean flag is perhaps one of the most unique flags in the world. Of the 193 countries that fly their flags at the United Nations, the Belizean flag is the only flag that depicts human beings on it. No other flag does it.
I see our flag as a flag of national unity and a flag of racial unity with the personages depicted thereon. What color is God’s skin? It is a fact that there are five skin colors in the world: black, brown, red, yellow, and white. Everyone’s the same in the Good Lord’s sight. (The red color of North America was virtually wiped off the face of earth by the European invasion post-1492).
What makes our flag especially unique is that it is one of the very few flags that has been to the moon and back. I am quoting from Compton Fairweather’s “The Historical Links of John Glenn and Charles Lindbergh To Belize”, written December 26/27, 2016, and published in the Amandala of Sunday, January 29, 2017:
“John Glenn circled the earth three times on February 20, 1962 in the Mercury spacecraft conceived, invented and designed by a Belizean-born American scientist/mechanical engineer named Maxime Faget (pronounced Fahzhay). Senator Glenn was an American aviator and astronaut who died earlier this month at age 95.
“Dr. Maxime Faget, who was responsible for the Mercury spacecraft, was born in Dangriga, Stann Creek District, on August 26, 1921. To find out how Max Faget was born in Stann Creek, we have to go back to World War I. The United Kingdom was fighting the Great War against Germany, Austria and others and suffered tremendous casualties – 876,084 dead and 167,172 wounded. All doctors who were British subjects were needed at the front.
“There was a British Colonial Service Marine Hospital in New Orleans where Max’s father, Dr. Guy Henry Faget, worked as a tropical disease specialist. He and his wife, Isabelle Le Blance-Faget, answered the call to go to Belize for 5 years. When Dr. Maxime Faget visited Belize some years ago, before his death, he brought with him a Belize flag which he had sent to the moon. The flag used to be displayed in the Government House/House of Culture in Belize City”.
Let’s get the color scheme right for now, and always
If the color of one of the personages on our flag offends some Belizeans, let’s get it right. I propose that the bare-chested individuals be suited. One individual can be black/white shirt and the other brown/pale yellow. These are the colors that make up the complexion of modern day Belize, and it will be so for the foreseeable future, like it or not.
Belize is the most unique country of Central America. Belize is the only country that learned to miscegenate. Miscegenation is the mixture of the various races and peoples among themselves.
In Belize, I’m classified as belonging to the Maya-Mestizo ethnic group. My mother tongue is Spanish. But I have a lot of Creole cousins. I have an uncle married to a Creole woman. I have male and female cousins who have children with Creole folks. I have a cousin who has children with a Russian-descent woman. A female cousin of mine is married to a white US pastor, and they have children.
All over Belize we can see intermarrying among the different ethnic and racial groups. Miscegenation is here to stay. This is good for Belize, because it will make us a strong and united nation for the future.
I have always said on radio and television that in the next couple decades, Belize will be having the most beautiful people in the world because of miscegenation. I now commit that to print.
Let’s make our Belizean flag a unifying factor among Belizeans. I wish all Belizeans a happy and safe Independence Day 2019.