His Excellency Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon today led celebrations on Somali Flag Day, rallying the nation and stressing the great prizes of unity and brotherhood on the 59th anniversary of the national flag. The Somali Flag was first internationally recognized and celebrated on the 12th October 1954, six years before the country’s independence in 1960.
“Today I call on Somalis to come together in the spirit of national unity and brotherhood, leaving behind tribal divisions and rallying behind our great country. Let us lift our eyes up to our beautiful flag and take pride in being Somali,” the Prime Minister said. “The flag represents the story of a national struggle against a colonial power, and the story of a proud people marching towards independence.”
On this flag day occasion the Prime Minister revisited the national agenda and how the Somali nation was born. He said the role of each Somali generation is to leave a better Somalia for the next and asked whether this generation is up to that responsibility.
“The purpose of adopting a flag is to define an independent nation. We celebrated the birth of a nation in 1960, yet we must ask ourselves now, have we achieved what we set out to do? And if the answer is no, we must ask ourselves other questions. Where did we go wrong and how can we put it right?” Prime Minister said.
Deliberating on what went wrong Prime Minister highlighted the biggest challenge for nation building in Somalia.
“One of our most serious challenges as Somalis is to overcome the differences and divisions of clan. I see the Somali flag as the great unifying symbol of our nation, the object we cherish and love. To build a united Somalia we need to become one great Tribe called Somali – containing many different but related families,” Prime Minister said.
“Today I speak to you as Prime Minister of a new Somalia, a country that has emerged from the ashes of war. We are rebuilding our nation brick by brick, step by step and our job is not yet done,” the Prime Minister said. “Our dream today is for a country at peace with itself and its neighbours, secure within its own borders, trading freely towards prosperity.”
Prime Minister stated that Al-Shabaab is a significant threat to the Somali nation and noted how they despise and reject the beautiful national flag. He emphasized that they have been led astray, as 160 religious scholars in Mogadishu argued last month in a fatwa against Al Shabaab. The Prime Minister reminded Somalis of the scholars’ pronouncement that the extremists have “departed from the true path of Islam and that is why they are doomed to failure”.