Last year we saw a shortage of Samoan flags around the world. This was because we were all so proud of making it to the various levels in the Rugby League World Cup. There were Samoan flags on trees, houses, cars, and even on animals.
Getting caught up in all the hype, we all went out an bought a Samoan flag. It was a representation of who we are and where we all came from, even though we lived all over the world. In some areas there was a literal sea of red, white and blue. The pride inside me is rising just remembering the parades. Can we do them every year instead of the annual Independence balls? While it was an amazing experience, what do we actually know about the meaning of the Samoan flag?
The Samoan flag features a red background with a blue rectangle in the upper left corner. Inside the blue rectangle are five white stars that represent the Southern Cross constellation. The red background represents courage, while the blue rectangle and stars symbolize freedom and Samoa's position in the Southern Hemisphere.
I knew about the southern cross, but the rest of the meaning was new to me. The courage and freedom are all such great representation of the feelings we felt during the RLWC parades and the addition of the meaning made it even more meaningful. But wait there's more!
The Samoan flag was designed by a group of Samoan leaders in 1948. "The two Tama'aiga, Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole and Malietoa Tanumafili II were given the task to design and make a flag to be presented to the Fono a Faipule for their approval so a meeting was held at the Tamasese residence at Leififi, where they and their wives Masiofo Noue and Masiofo Lili browsed over a book containing all the photos of national flags of different countries of the world,” Pili'opo Tamasese Maia'i .
If you click on the link above it tells the story of how the group sat and hand drew the design out, using lipstick, a pen and paper to bring the ideas together. Makes me appreciate the ingenuity and artistic creativeness of our people. Knowing that our flag was designed by our own Tama'aiga and that the first prototype of the flag was handsewn by Masiofo Noue and Masiofo Lili makes the flag even more special to me. Did the meaning of the flag change how you saw it?
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