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Martinique: the flag of discord

The venture to alter the flag of the island is about to succeed, after many controversies. Discover out which flag must be retained…


Just lately referred to as to take part in a preferred session organized by the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique (CTM), a majority of inhabitants voted for a change of the present flag thought of too colonial within the eyes of sure associations. A case that deeply divides this French abroad division and during which President Emmanuel Macron had instantly intervened…

The concept was good from the beginning. Earlier than it lastly turns bitter. In 2018, the Collectivité Territoriale de Martinique (CTM) introduced its determination to arrange a preferred session so {that a} new flag could possibly be adopted in order that the island could possibly be recognized throughout sure sports activities or cultural competitions.

Learn additionally: Louis Boyard, the ignoramus who wished to be a star

In a short time, this proposal become an argument. A number of elected officers protested towards this want of the CTM to abolish the official flag with the white and blue cross, adorned with 4 spearhead serpents, which has served as a logo of this Caribbean island because the seventeenth century. “Asking the query of the flag is like asking the query of sovereignty. The anthem and the flag are attributes of a nation. If we would like there to be a Martinican nation, allow us to say it frankly” mentioned Fred-Michel Tirault, mayor of town of Saint-Esprit. Within the aftermath, varied associations rushed into the affair to denounce this flag, witness to France’s slavery previous in Martinique (it was notably displayed on slave ships), imagined by Louis XIV himself. Confronted with heated debates threatening to degenerate into confrontations, the CTM had been pressured to place its venture on maintain.

Yielding to the calls for of the Worldwide Motion for Reparations and the Consultant Council of Black Associations (Cran) of France, which had filed a criticism towards the presence of this “racist” image inside the Republic, for the sake of appeasement, President Emmanuel Macron had agreed to have the controversial Martinican crest faraway from the uniforms of the gendarmes representing the State on this abroad division. For the independence actions, solely the tricolor purple (life and freedom) – inexperienced (nature) – black (“which pays homage to all those that have been flouted”) have to be displayed in Martinique. Invented by Victor Lessort, an activist of the Anticolonialist Youth Group of Martinique (OJAM), it appeared in 1962 and is commonly highlighted throughout anti-government demonstrations or throughout strikes. When it isn’t hoisted as a provocation on the pediment of city halls (as in 2019, in Fort de France)! The selection of its colours is much from trivial. In response to the separatists, the flag finds its major origin within the slave revolts fomented by the “neg’ maroons” towards the white Béké planters and stays a reference to pan-African theses. Cantor of negritude (a literary motion), the anti-colonialist poet Aimée Césaire was entitled to this flag on his coffin in 2008, waved with out complicated by the Martinican Progressive Celebration (PPM) which he based.

On July 28, 2022, the CTM introduced out its venture (the earlier 12 months, the same try had been canceled by administrative justice) and referred to as on Martiniquans to resolve on the topic and on a brand new official anthem. Exit the present “colonialist” flag, a number of derivatives of the well-known red-green-black tricolor have been introduced to the inhabitants of the island. However, as soon as once more, the controversies resurfaced. Particularly when it was found that digital voting allowed all attainable fraud. The platform chosen to gather the votes was shortly suspended, barely 24 hours after it went on-line on January 2, 2023, in an effort to be safer. 27,000 folks took half within the participatory poll (out of a registered inhabitants of 360,000 folks) and 73% of them selected the well-known independence flag to which a silhouette of a black hummingbird was added. However the dispute continues. In response to detractors, the creator of the brand new flag, Anaïs Delwaulle, plagiarized a brand that may be seen on the Shutterstock on-line picture financial institution! This accusation is firmly denied by the particular person involved, who defined it at size in a proper of reply revealed within the native press.

To learn subsequent: Cohn-Bendit: and ideological sobriety, then?

Little commented on by the French media, this variation is however removed from trivial and raises questions. It comes as some on the island are pondering of reviewing relations with the metropolis and acquiring extra autonomy (like New Caledonia), if not whole independence. An concept that Serge Letchimy, President of the Government Council of Martinique, however refutes, explaining to anybody who will hear that Martinique doesn’t need “to not go away the Republic however that he’s allowed to stay there with dignity”. An ideological battle has solely simply begun, on an island the place the economic system remains to be within the arms of Martinique’s white minority. “Békés” who’re nonetheless typically thought of metropolitan settlers by independence associations near the Black Lives Matter (BLM) motion…

The retained flag DR

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