Pacific Dialogue Limited in its submission to the Constitution Commission in Suva today raised concerns over the national flag of Fiji.
PDL’s chief executive, Jone Dakuvula made submissions on behalf of the organisation and stated that Fiji needed a new flag because Fiji’s current noble banner blue is just a reminder of Fiji’s negative colonial inheritances such as racism, divide and, rule and cringing subservience.
“Even though Fiji is now a republic with a president as head-of-state and therefore warrants a new flag, we submit that the new flag should be the symbol of a new beginning as a nation,” Dakuvula said.
Dakuvula added that a lot of the symbols in the current Fiji flag represent Fiji’s colonial history like the Union Jack and the plaque in the middle.
He also stated that the 1997 Constitution embodied the inheritance of Britain’s rule in Fiji and the knowledge they had imparted to Fijians about the importance of the rule of law and later parliamentary democracy are of far greater and meaningful value to Fiji than any symbol.
“It is important because we, through our more recent history have failed to uphold that inheritance of constitutional democracy and the rule of law,” Dakuvula said.
He also added that the constitution commission should ensure that the Fiji’s history is conveyed and understood from the Fijian peoples’ perspective.
Meanwhile, PDL also raised issues regarding Fiji’s national anthem and advised the commission that Fiji should ‘take a leaf’ out of South Africa’s book by having three different verses in three different languages: one in Vosa Vaka Viti, one in Fijian Hindi and the third in English.
The Commission will receive submissions at the University of the South Pacific later this evening.
By Indrani Krishna