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General News of Thursday, 2 June 2011

Source: Francis Owusu-Ansah, Space FM, Sunyani

B/A residents slam misuse of state emblems

A number of residents in the Brong-Ahafo region have added their voices to the call by MPs to regulate the use of state emblems and the Ghana coat of arms. Only the President and a few state institutions as well as some personalities have the power to use these emblems but today, people are using the national emblems without any authority. The residents told Space FM that the appropriate authorities should immediately embark on an educational campaign to enable the public apprciate the use of national emblems and the coat of arms.

They argue that just as no one can put on a police uniform or cassock, unless the person has satisfied some requirements, no one equally can use the national emblems and the coat of arms without approval.

Members of Parliament have expressed concern about the abuse of state emblems and the Ghana Coat of Arms. The legislators have therefore called on the appropriate authority to ensure that people are made to adhere to the law that prevents the indiscriminate use of such national assets. The MPs particularly pointed accusing fingers at Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives as the worse abusers of the Ghana Coat of Arms.

MP for Amenfi East, Joseph Boaheng Adu who raised the issue said even rickety vehicles make use of such emblems, hence denigrating its essence. He said this was against state protocol and that culprits must be brought to book for such actions.

Nana Ama Konamah, a health staff told our reporter in Sunyani that it unfortunate that people can just use the coat of arms without the least regard for state authority. She pointed out that in America, no one dares use the national emblem which symbolises the authority of the state and the president. Nana Opoku Agyemang, producer of the the Space FM Morning Show programme noted that the Municipal and District Chief Executives who are using the coat of arms on their official vehicles are the worse offenders because they should know better. He therefore called on the appropriate state institutions to regulate the use of the national emblems. Nana Opoku Agyemang also urged members of the public to respect the national anthem and the pledge when they hear them.

He noted that these days people do not honour the national anthem and the pledge when they hear them.

“In the olden days, you had to stand at ease when the national pledge was being recited or the national anthem was played”, he said.

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