On Flag Issue – by Jawar Mohammad

I have avoided commenting on the flag issue because I thought this is not the time to debate it. Now it has been pushed to the forefront here is my two cent words of advice to avoid turning the flag issue into source for further conflict.

– It is clear that the current federal flag ( one with star at center) is seen as symbol of TPLF rule and hence rejected by many. This was clear at Bahr Dar rally and across Oromia. People have the right to oppose and reject any law or symbol of the state hence the cry that what the Amhara people did is unconstitutional and threat to the federation is exagerated. However it is rejected does NOT mean replacement has been agreed upon.

– Thus, let people be free to hold, fly or brandish their choice of flag. But let’s insure they do not deface, burn or tore apart any other flag they may not like. Doing so angers another section of the society and invites violence.

– Spokesman for Amhara region correctly stated that holding discussion on flag issue is unavoidable at some point. That is correct. But changing the flag requires constitutional amendment. Touching the constitution at this moment would be opening a pandora box that could blow up on our face and bringing down the already fragile state. Hence let people enjoy their chosen flag but lets keep officially changing for later date.

– The federal government must continue using the current legal flag at all official events and venues. As long as this constitution remains in effect or constitutional amendment has not been done to change the flag, the federal government has no choice but to keep it. Replacing the flag at any federal place or event by another flag, no matter how popular it might be, is inviting the controversy inside the federal government with disastrous consequences.

Keep Calm, Enjoy your chosen flag, and focus on speeding up towards full fledged democracy through election.

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