OpEd, Politics

Let us protect the National Coat of Arms

By Deng Akoldit Ajuong

South Sudan is a sovereign country that gained its independence in 2011 with five important National symbols. These are the National Coat of Arms, the National Flag, the National Anthem, and the National Currency.

On behalf of the citizens, we thank the Ministry of Information, Communication, and Postal Service for raising awareness months ago about the exact color and shape of our National Flag. I have been seeing a big, signpost with the right flag, ticked and the wrong flag color, crossed. We can say, well done! I think it is clear now that we know and are aware of our National Flag. South Sudan’s Coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience, and majesty, while the shield and spear symbolize the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

I’m not trying to criticize our government; rather, I am giving my observations and healthy comments, and I am sure you have seen this happening in the city. Civilian car windows with our National Coat of Arms, What does that Coat of Arms mean? If we are not careful, I think it’s going to lose its value. We must value it like money or more than American dollars. Our Coat of Arms, I think, is not supposed to fly anyhow, believe me. It is supposed to fly in authorized car windows, but not in Tricycles. Though the ‘rash’ belongs to Big Man, it shouldn’t be there because rickshaws (tricycles) or private business has nothing to do with our national Coat of arms. Believe me, your cars, rashes, and motorcycles have already been reorganized by the laws of the Republic of South Sudan, which is why they bear the SSD plus our National Flag on the number plate.

My dears, if countrymen and women just take a bus from Gudele to Custom or Juba town, you will see the wrong use of our national symbol, the Coat of arms and you will see some private businesses, cars, Tricycles, and bodabodas with our national Coat of Arms stuck on the back window. Where are the traffic police to ask? Basically, traffic police are there to ask, as usual, where your logbook is. I thought our traffic could check this instead of just sticking a Coat of Arms on the front or back of the car’s window. It’s shameful to us… Are other countries playing with their Coats of arms? No, they don’t joke with her. My country, South Sudan Traffic Police, is healthy. You can authorize or do something to avoid devaluing our Coat of arms. This is an image of our country, and everyone has the right to protect it and value ourselves.

Our traffic policemen and women ask logbooks as if they were only trained for logbooks, and they didn’t ask why our Coat of Arms is on some car windows. This is what it means to protect the nation and its properties. I wonder if it happens now or in a few months to be promoted to the highest rank. What will you put on your shoulder? I think the eagle will fly to your shoulder, which is our Coat of arms. You agree with me on how beautiful it is to see our eagles flying in the manner in which the country and law say it. Please protect our Coat of Arms because it bears protection for the country and its citizens. It is different from the other simple logos we see around us.

The hustlers, with our easy transport Tricycles, Noah, and Mini busses, stick our Coats of Arms too. Now, what is it? Does it mean the property belongs to certain people or what Or Nation? Now the market for selling Coats of Arms is flooding around Juba, especially the Konyokonyo market. Please, my dear Traffic police or relevant law enforcement agencies should do something about this matter; it has disturbed my heart and is going to devalue our national identity. I think it has also disturbed you. Our Coat of Arms and national symbol are not for jokes or decorations. I spoke to one of Noah’s drivers while we were heading to customs. I asked him why he put our Coat of Arms in front of his car. What does that mean? He told me it meant I am working in the government, where the police officers wouldn’t disturb him along the way while taking up his daily business.

The rightful meaning is according to our constitution’s definition. I am sure you read Chapter 1, paragraph 7. You will understand it very well. I understand the Coat of Arms is one of the powerful national symbols prescribed in our Constitution, amended in 2011. Chapter 1, paragraph 7, defines it as important to us. I’m sure that during the training of our armies, these national symbols are well explained to every trainee or citizen. National Anthem: According to our constitution, national anthems are to be sung in military parades, schools, graduation days, presiding by the president, or during the visits of special government officials prescribed by our constitution. I am sure you can’t sing the national anthem at a family gathering, wedding, birthday, party, or Thanksgiving. Just know that when you attempt to do so, the law will ask you or prevail. Why? Because the National Anthem reflects our liberation, suffering, and God’s grace upon us. By the way, the national anthem is important, and we must value it as well as our currency. With all the meanings of the colors, I am sure you will agree with me. Our flag bears an important color, meaning it shouldn’t be allowed in either a cattle camp or joke with it anyhow. It only flies high in government offices, during football or games matches with other countries, embassies, schools, the presidency, and our South Sudan border territories. Apart from all these, I don’t think it will be good to just fly our flag anyway. If it happened to fly our flag in a cattle camp or on personal business, then our law has to question that person, and he must be warm enough not to do so. I am glad it was announced on the radio several times years ago, but our people who have no access to information haven’t heard it well so far. They hear it. It wasn’t preached to their ears and understanding. It will take a long time to learn and understand how to value our national symbols.

The Coat of Arms is a very important national symbol in our country. It bears the image of an eagle with spears of protection, justice, liberty, and prosperity for our people. Unfortunately, our Coat of Arms stick is missing, meaning everyone’s car bears the cost of the arm image or motorcycle backlight. I don’t know what it means. Was it allowed by our government or the constitution? I’m still sure our Arms are trained well to know their mandates and protect our national symbols, such as the national anthem, National Flag, National Coat of arms, and national currency. If they are not aware, I am now appealing to your hearts to remove our Coat of Arms from the back of our cars from unauthorized cars, private cars, Tricycles, and motorbikes. It won’t be good for the eyes of foreigners to see our Coat of Arms flooding around the city and everyone’s cars. Without proper representation and meaning at all, it doesn’t make any sense. To prove me right, take a walk tomorrow just to cross the main road leading to the customs bus station. You will see our national Coat of Arms flooding behind the car. Or in front of the driver’s windows.

I will give you four places in which our Coat of Arms should appear.

  1. On our passport. The reason is that when you go outside, the national Coat of Arms identifies the country in which you come from, which is the Republic of South Sudan. Always, if you have a passport or valuable documents, I am sure you have seen them there. This means our Coat of Arms is special and can’t be printed by an individual. There is something valuable in it.
  1. The military rank Coat of Arms in case of any deployment outside the country, together with our flag, will show that you are from South Sudan, that you are well respected because of your rank, and that you are a great asset to the nation. A Coat of Arms is like gold; you can’t find it anywhere. Rank in the Army has great value through the Coat of Arms in the cap, and rank means that you are a righteous member of the organized forces. You are well respected; if you allowed it to fly anyhow on cars or markets, do you think you are going to be respected?
  2. Embassies headed papers, our certificates of secondary education, presidency, coins, or our piasters (coins) stamps I am sure you will agree with me that in our country, our Coat of Arms is displayed and applied to the president and embassies.
  3. In the National Assembly, I am glad our national government has installed the National Coat of Arms in the South Sudan National Assembly roundabout. Deep inside our National Assembly, there is a Coat of arms. This is the right thing, and it must continue to identify the potential areas and places in which it should appear as well.

There are three places where our Coat of Arms should not be.

  1. Public buses or personal cars. This bus or car belongs to individuals; it doesn’t represent South Sudan in any way, though there are South Sudanese citizens inside the bus.
  2. The Coat of Arms shouldn’t appear in plain personal clothes, except for military uniforms or caps, valuable assets prescribed by the laws. Because civilian clothes are personal, the national symbols shouldn’t be there.
  3. Family’s property or hotel—a building owned by individuals I think you are sure there is no need to display a Coat of Arms there. A flag may be displayed deep in the building.

My brothers, sisters, and citizens of South Sudan, our Coat of Arms reflects us; let us protect it from devaluing our eagle. An eagle earns its honor from its people. This eagle is a national symbol with vision, strength, resilience, and majesty, and it is the shield and spear of the protection of the people of South Sudan.

May God bless South Sudan!

The writer can be reached at Email: dengakol865@gmail.com / 0925966085. 


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