After describing the wordings of citations
for Liberia’s national awards as “a throwback”, this year’s Independence Day orator has been appointed to head a commission to appropriately restructure and renamed the various grades.
“The wordings are a throwback to nineteenth century provincialism, and as such these awards need to be complemented with others more relevant to contemporary circumstances,” Dr. D. Dunn recommended during his national oration here Thursday.
He said, “We seem to talk about our national symbols and awards interminably without the national will to act.
Dr. Dunn questioned whether “anyone has carefully read the citations to such national awards as ‘The Liberian Humane Order of African Redemption,’ or ‘The Most Venerable Order of Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia.’”
He, therefore, suggested that “post-apartheid South Africa’s experience in these regards could prove salutary or beneficial” for Liberia.
Cognizant of many other important issues, Dr. Dunn said continuous use of the anachronistic “Rules and Regulations for Administering the Hinterland” that once vested all powers of governing in the “Secretary of the Interior”—today the Minister of Internal Affairs—as well as the issue of dual citizenship looms large for Liberians residing abroad.
He warned that alienation of that significant national resource was detrimental to national detriment.
When Dr. Edward Beyan Kesselly (sainted memory) served as national Independence Day orator in Nimba County in 1972, his harsh criticism of many national symbols including the flag, constitution and seal hit the nerves of True Whig Party gurus.
The government subsequently formed a Commission headed by postmaster-general McKinley A. DeShield to review the symbols and make appropriate recommendations failed to make its report public, and the orator was silenced after being appointed Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism.