New proposed flags for the new awaited Federal Republic of South Sudan

By Lul Gatkuoth Gatluak

September 30, 2014 (SSNA) — As South Sudan peace talk is rag­ing, many are wait­ing to see what change will be unveiled to fix the cur­rent higgledy-piggledy. With­out doubt, the major­ity of South Sudanese are yearn­ing for fed­er­al­ism to be the form of gov­er­nance in South Sudan. Fed­eral sys­tem unlike the mere decen­tral­iza­tion is a con­sti­tu­tional arrange­ment in which the sov­er­eignty of the nation is divided between the national and the State gov­ern­ments which pro­vide stronger degree of auton­omy to var­i­ous lev­els of the gov­ern­ment. It includes fis­cal, admin­is­tra­tive and polit­i­cal aspects of gov­er­nance. Fed­er­al­ism is the best sys­tem of gov­er­nance which we dearly needed. Cur­rent decen­tral­iza­tion sys­tem is only focus­ing on polit­i­cal auton­omy ignor­ing the admin­is­tra­tive and fis­cal aspects.

The major­ity of South Sudanese are see­ing the desir­able change to be brought by Dr. Riek Machar than any­one else. Due to the fact that, on July 16, 2014, SPLM in oppo­si­tion under the lead­er­ship of Dr. Riek Machar pro­posed that, South Sudan will be fur­ther divided into 21 States, which may include Abyei in the future if bor­der demar­ca­tion between Sudan and South Sudan is completed.

Under that pro­posal, Riek has rec­om­mended that for­mer three regions which Sudan divided into ten States in 1997, must be fur­ther divided under fed­eral struc­tured sys­tem. Upper Nile region that had already been divided to three States com­pris­ing of the Upper Nile, Jon­glei and Unity, must be fur­ther bro­ken into eight (8) States. The new look would com­pro­mise Akobo, Bor, Fan­gak, Fashoda, North­ern Upper Nile, Pibor, Unity and Sobat.

The Bahr El Ghazal Region which already con­sists of four (4) States , Lakes, War­raps, North­ern and West­ern Bahr El Ghaz­als, will be fur­ther divided into seven States. The pro­posed break­away states would com­prise Aweil, Gogr­ial, Raga, Rum­bek, Tonj, Wau and Yirol.

Finally, the Equa­to­ria region that has also already been divided into three States con­sist­ing of Cen­tral, East­ern and West­ern Equa­to­rias will be divided into six (6) new states com­pris­ing of Juba, Kapo­eta, Maridi, Torit, Yam­bio and Yei.

As the pro­posal remain sit­ting on the table wait­ing to be rat­i­fied, this author has also come up with a pro­posal that South Sudan national flag will be changed.

This doesn’t mean that there is any­thing wrong with our national flag rather it is a thought which I believe would add more sense should we have more states than what we cur­rently got.

In 2004, one brought the same sug­ges­tion to the atten­tion of Dr. Riek whether South Sudan National Flag can be redesigned. While con­vers­ing with him, Dr. Riek gave me a brief expla­na­tion of how cur­rent South Sudan flag came about.

Accord­ing to him “in early 1980s, the lead­er­ship of the SPLM/A set down and dis­cussed how the flag will look like. The late chair­man, Dr. John Garang, sug­gested that the flag must bear a star and the star will be placed in the cen­ter of the flag. Dr. Riek told the chair­man we will face many ques­tions from the world nations who would be curi­ous to know why we put the star in the middle.

Flag of South Sudan

Cur­rent Flag of of South Sudan (click next on the above map and refer to photo number 2).

After the end of their dis­cus­sion, Dr.Riek was tasked to go along with the design of the new flag. First, Dr. Riek said he called Barn­aba Mariel Ben­jamin in Eng­land and requested to be sent pic­tures of the world flags which Mar­ial did. After Dr. Riek received world flags, he and the team picked Kenya flag to relate our flag with. This is the rea­son why South Sudan flag is sim­i­lar to the flag of Kenya except the addi­tion of the blue tri­an­gle and the golden star at the hoist. The above is the image of our flag. The descrip­tion of our cur­rent flag, although might already know is as fol­lowed. The black color on the top is rep­re­sent­ing the peo­ple, the white color is rep­re­sent­ing peace, the red is pre­sent­ing the blood we shed for free­dom, the green is the land, blue is the water of the Nile and finally; the golden star is sym­bol­iz­ing the unity of the States of South Sudan.

As pre­vi­ously indi­cated, I have pro­posed three dif­fer­ent flags to debate upon and pick the one that gives more mean­ing to our awaited fed­eral repub­lic of South Sudan. Like the orig­i­nal flag was design bear­ing sim­i­lar­ity of Kenya national flag, I design these flags using the Greece and the United States flags as sample.

proposed flag of new federal republic of South Sudan

Pro­posed Flags of the new emerg­ing Fed­eral Repub­lic of South Sudan (click next on the above map and refer to photo number 3).

Based on this image, three big­ger stripes on the back­ground, the Black, Red and the Green stood for our three orig­i­nal regions; Equa­to­ria, Bahr El Ghazal and the Upper Nile.

Each region is divided with many white stripes to indi­cate how many States has been pro­posed from that par­tic­u­lar region. For instance, the black stripe on the top, rep­re­sent­ing Equa­to­ria. Dr. Riek’s recent pro­posal stated that Equa­to­ria will con­sist of six States.

The red big­ger stripe is rep­re­sent­ing Bahr El Ghazal and the pro­posal indi­cates that Bahr El Ghazal region will con­sist of seven States. Last but not least is a big­ger green stripe rep­re­sent­ing the Upper Nile and Dr. Riek indi­cates that the cur­rent Upper Nile region will be divided into eight States. At the end of the green big­ger stripe, there is a black stripe which sym­bol­izes the state of Abyei.

Then there are 22 stars in the cen­ter of the blue tri­an­gle which stood for South Sudan’s pro­posed 22 states includ­ing Abyei. Of course, col­ors still car­ry­ing their orig­i­nal mean­ings. Black for the peo­ple, white stripes are for peace, red for the blood we shed, green for the land, blue for Nile water and golden star for our unity. If the above design does not carry enough mean­ing to our union national flag, then I made another design below.

Another proposed flag of new federal republic of South Sudan

Another pro­posed flag of new fed­eral repub­lic of South Sudan (click next on the above map and refer to photo number 4).

In this design, there are 11 stripes which are rep­re­sent­ing our cur­rent ten States plus Abyei. Then there are 22 golden Stars rep­re­sent­ing 21 pro­posed States plus the state of Abyei if stall unsolved issue turn on our favor. Yet, col­ors are car­ry­ing the same mean­ing as pre­vi­ously described

The final design below also falls under the same cat­e­gory as the sec­ond one. Stripes are intended to rep­re­sent 22 States includ­ing Abyei and Stars are rep­re­sent­ing 21 pro­posed States. As roughly described, these three ban­ners are just a pro­posal, they can be thrown away or something.

Another proposed flag of new federal republic of South Sudan

Another pro­posed flag of new fed­eral repub­lic of South Sudan (click next on the above map and refer to photo number 5).

mean­ing­ful can be designed base on the idea given. I felt our cur­rent national flag is only car­ry­ing our image as peo­ple, the peace we may have among us or with our neigh­bors, the blood we shed dur­ing our strug­gle, the land, water and the unity which is rep­re­sent­ing by the Star. I felt like our three orig­i­nal regions, the cur­rent ten States of South Sudan and the newly pro­posed 21 States should be included in our national flag symbol.

National flags are sym­bols which rep­re­sent the value of the nation. Although they are essen­tially just a piece of col­ored cloth, yet, they are car­ry­ing a very pow­er­ful sym­bolic mean­ing. I would give you an exam­ple to take two papers out of your excer­sis book, in one page, write down your car, and on the sec­ond paper, write down your father and mother names then stomp on one of the two papers. I bet you would eas­ily stomp on the one you wrote your car on. Why is it? I believe your answer would be because the paper that bear your dad and mom names rep­re­sent­ing their values.

At the same token, national flags are car­ry­ing the nation value. Flags are patri­otic national sym­bols, but at the same time indi­vid­u­als feel more proud when they know their value, iden­tity, beliefs and her­itages which all are attached to that piece of cloth. I urge the lead­er­ship of our demo­c­ra­tic move­ment to look into this pro­posal and add into it nec­es­sary changes that they would like to add. There is no doubt in my mind that South Sudan will be pro­nounced Fed­eral Repub­lic of South Sudan after we get out from this higgledy-piggledy.

The author could be reached at [email protected]

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