Recently, I have traveled 62 countries in a matter of two days. “Beat that, Jules Verne”. I was wowed; It is not something you get to see everyday. All of us in one big boat (it was a conference)From Africa, to Asia and Europe. Unfortunately this time there were no delegates from America (North or South). It was truly an experience.
As I was one of the few Rwandans present, I had that patriotic kick in my gut; to be at my best and be the pride of my motherland.
But when the worst is about to kick in, it doesn’t knock.
They brought the wrong flag.
It was and is outrageous to the core. What people don’t seem to realize is that since its independence, Rwanda has reinvented itself from scratch mainly after the tragedies of 1994. The introduction of a new flag, New Anthem, New Constitution, New Emblem. All of this in hope to bring a new start to a broken country.
And It was successful
I had never realized the importance of a flag till now. But a flag…..It’s a symbol of what a country believes in; the proud colors of the country’s hopes and dreams. It stands for their union and pride; It reminds them of where they came from and where they are going.
But that flag didn’t. It came from a period that “we” (Rwandans) suffered a terrible fate. It reminded of the pit that my country sunk in years ago. A horrible memory forever in our minds. I’m talking about the Rwandan genocide.
Truth told, I was merely a toddler when all of that happened. But I share the same pain; through my father and mother; grand parents and friends; I almost taste the bitterness of those bad times.
The conference went well so far. “That flag” isn’t some small detail you forget easily and enjoy the rest of the day; but more like a narcissistic nagging thought in the back of your head that simply won’t leave. I really can’t blame them, they had done their “research”..Simply it wasn’t extensive enough.