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Fear Mounts on Liberia’s Flag Day 2007

Sometimes I get scare that my country may one day be sued for plagiarism. Even on this Flag Day, I am gripped with fear. I don’t know how many of my countrymen and women feel this way. Our flag, our seal, our pledge of allegiance, our history before 1847, the idea of a declaration of independence, and some of our national songs were all copied from the United States because they are not our own. God Bless Liberia, This Land is your Land, for examples are so embarrassing to sing here in the United States. Today is our Flag Day and we will be waving a symbol that looks nothing like us but copied from the culture from which those who did the photo copy were driven. I appreciate the work those people have done because perhaps that was their best. I can tolerate their mistakes but why are those errors and shortcomings taking us so long to rectify? Every culture or society evolves. Our inability or failure to right the wrongs of the past, rectify the many discrepancies, “plagiarisms” and fallacies they called history is unpardonable. The constant tendency of sweeping these issues under the rug to talk about “peace, reconciliation, and reviving the economy” are deliberate efforts to keep a lid on our growth, development, and self worth as a people.
Succeeding governments, thinkers, and scholars have not done much to make those rectifications or at least bring them in the open for discussion. This same attitude of failure to right the wrongs of the past has persisted for decades. Some time ago, some persons have used the country’s money to erect buildings that now house government ministries and offices. While the country is still paying back her lenders with huge interest, people who used those moneys to build those infrastructures continue to benefit in the form of cash payments. As of today’s date, government is still writing checks to those people as rent or mortgage payments. I can’t imagine how long the country is going to keep paying them instead of the reverse. So as these anomalies continue unchanged, the present generation and those with state power need to share the blame of past corrupt officials, inept leaders and careless or lazy writers.

Below is an example of the “copycat” activity that was done on the American song by our “founding fathers.”

words and music by Woody Guthrie


This land is your land, this land is my land
From (California) Nimba Mountain, to the (New York Island) Mighty Ocean
From the (redwood forest) Mano River, to the (Gulf Stream waters) Wild Cavalla
This land was made for you and me

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