74 F
Belize City
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Home Letters Our flag’s ship

Our flag’s ship

Dear Editor, 
Our Coat of Arms, which is incorporated into the national flag, includes “…a sailing ship proper.”  There’s no guidance as to what kind of sailing vessel was intended, but one frequently hears the word “schooner” applied to the image appearing in the Unity Flag that is now being standardized.

Actually, the array of sails comports more closely with a clipper and not a schooner. It really doesn’t matter, though, as neither is effective in triggering that burst of nationalistic spirit which our forebears swore to have, and which they did in fact display, as they “drove back the invaders.”

Schooners are peacetime vessels used for the movement of cargo, passengers, et cetera; and more latterly, as pleasure craft. Their shallow draft renders them the vessel of choice for coastal shipping, and anyone familiar with the sand-lighters from Mullins River’s heyday will automatically call one of those vessels to mind on first seeing our flag’s ship. Except for the rigging.

That’s not the imagery we need on a September morning. Whenever we look at our ensign there should be something there that instantly makes us square our shoulders and feel a stirring of the blood, and leavens the pride we have in being Belizeans. Why not replace the lighter, then, with a battleship?

The lowly schooner in the ordinary course does not evoke the imagery of hot hurtling canon-balls fired broadside at “invaders.” A battleship can, as did the Merlin in 1798. A reproduction of a frigate like that, or perhaps a John Serres’ painting such as “The Morning Gun” with a battleship’s gun ports open in action, could fire up our nationalistic nerve centers. Not only when September rolls around, but whenever and wherever we see our flag unfurled.

There’s a flurry of design wainscoting—coloration, realism, historicity—underway as the flag standardization proceeds. We could still make this happen.

Hart Tillett
August 23, 2020.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Belize celebrates 39 years of Independence

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 21, 2020-- Belize celebrated its 39th year of independence on Monday, September 21, 2020. The celebrations started off with the...

Police charge owner of farm where drug plane landed, for prohibited ammunition

ORANGE WALK TOWN, Wed. Sept. 23, 2020-- Noel Codd, a farm owner and businessman of Orange Walk Town, on whose farm a suspected drug...

COVID-19 update: 52 new cases; 1,758 total confirmed cases

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 24, 2020-- Data released tonight reveal that 52 new cases were identified today, and the number of recoveries is 1,072,...

No political debates in Belize

Dear Editor, The general election is fast approaching, and because of this new normal it’s difficult to get a pulse of the people in regards...