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Flag Raising in Guyana, a Biannual Ceremony

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Published: 26th of May, 2018 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: March 6, 2023 at 20:48 pm

Flag Raising Ceremony, also referred to as the hoisting of the Golden Arrow Head, is a symbolic act performed on two separate occasions each year in the country of Guyana, South America.

The first Flag Raising Ceremony took place on Midnight of May 25th 1966 – or just at the dawn of Guyana’s first Independence Day – the break of May 26th 1966. On the first ever Flag Raising Ceremony, the Union Jack, the flag of British Guiana during colonial rule, was lowered, and the Golden Arrow Head, the current flag of Guyana as an independent nation, was ceremoniously hoisted.

Upon gaining Independence from the British Empire in May 26th, 1966, the former British colony changed its name to “Guyana” which means “land of many waters.” Four years later, on February 23rd, 1970, Guyana became a Republic, and was officially renamed, “the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.” Nevertheless, for most purposes, the country is referred to by the shortened form, “Guyana.”

Flag Raising Ceremony takes place two times per year in the country of Guyana: first on the midnight of February 22nd to usher in Republic Day (February 23rd) and on the midnight of May 25th to usher in Independence Day each year. The ceremony is held in the capital city, Georgetown, and at various towns across Guyana.

Starting in the early 1950s, Guyanese politicians fought a long, hard, and vicious battle against the the British Empire in the struggle for Independence. During the struggle, political leader Dr. Cheddi Jagan oversaw the burning down of cane fields amongst other brutal acts to sabotage the British Empire. Britain didn’t put up military resistance or try to subdue the uprising by force. Instead, it granted Guyanese politicians the Independence they were requesting.

Unfortunately, after Independence, the economy of Guyana went on a downward spiral due to poor leadership, mismanagement, racial conflicts between East Indians and Africans, theft, corruption, and the general inability of Guyanese politicians to rule the country.

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