A thorn in the flesh of nationalism – The Ghana Flag

The Red, Gold, Green and the black star in the middle of the Ghana flag has been one of the epitomes of criticism during the celebration of Ghana’s golden jubilee. It came to an abrupt end after a series of enlightenment campaigns defining each colour with emphasis placed on the Gold, popularly mistaken for Yellow.

Arguably, the torchbearers of Ghanaian nationalism, The Black Stars, have given people of African descent and those in support of Africa a reason to wave the colourful flag in the name of patriotism, pride and support for a nation championing the dream of African renaissance on a fair and level green grass. Corporate support for the Black Stars, though necessary has come a long way to eat into the nationalist campaign of the ordinary Ghanaian for selfish marketing goals which in turn boosts their profit making ideals.

When we watch other nationals overseas and on our dear continent cheering their football teams on to victory, we marvel at the costume and paraphernalia wearing supporters who appear indistinguishable in their national colours not forgetting the enthusiasm which serves also as a blessing to the cameras.

We saw this uniformity among Ghanaian supporters during the World Cup in South Africa stealing some shots from the cameras during Black Stars Games. But is that always the demeanour?

The policy of Ambush Marketing served as a blessing in disguise for Ghana during the World Cup since it did away with the ever-appearing branding on our national colours which is so unfortunate. On a regular basis, after our tremendous performance at the 2006 World Cup, we see our supporters divided in attire and ideals in our stadia representing different corporate bodies at the expense of our beautiful flag even though they all support the same team.

Some wear clothes made of the Red, Gold and Green with the black star in the middle but the green here is a little lighter and bigger than the other colours of the flag which are supposed to be of the same length and breadth. To add to the injury, huge logos of corporate bodies are embossed on the larger and lighter green of the Ghana colours.

Some flags are also shared at the gates of our stadia to vibrant and passionate supporters who unknowingly push the marketing agenda of some corporate bodies and at the same time blindly help with the reduction of the significance of the Red, Gold, Green and the black star of Ghana. These flags have the Ghana flag competing for space with the brand name and logo of the corporate bodies inscribed on a blue background on the same flag.

From afar and in the lenses of the camera, the larger light green of the Red, Gold, Light Green and black star attire of the supporters groups and the blue in the flag which has sandwiched the Ghana flag is more visible and business minded than of national reasons.

I am not against keeping a business going by marketing a product through any means but I don’t support it if it is at the expense of our national identity. We are identified by the flags and colours we represent and no one would save our image but us.

Wake up Ghana Football Association, Wake up Ghanaians and let’s redeem our nationalist interest…GHANA FIRST.

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, communications and media consultant, editor, writer, human rights advocate, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast, history fanatic and a lover of arts and culture. He has worked with multinational media companies across the continent and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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