THE FLAG FOUNDATION OF NIGERIA (FFN).
BACKGROUND: (“you don’t necessarily have to be in government to be a reformist”)
- It is common knowledge that National consciousness in Nigeria has diminished to an embarrassing level amongst Nigerians. This is a bitter truth. That majority of Nigerians are yet to comprehend what citizenships entails, is an honest truth. But first, what is national consciousness?
- NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS is defined as an awareness of the ideals or goals of one’s country. It embodies a conscious effort towards helping to achieve the goals. Franz Fanon, sees national consciousness as the all-embracing crystallization of the innermost hopes of the citizens of a nation and the immediate and most obvious result of the mobilization of such citizens. Obasi (1987) sees it as an enlightened state of mind among the citizens of a nation, which induces them to place national interests above parochial interests. This concept has also been given a rather comprehensive definition by Prince Tony Momoh (1987). According to him, national consciousness is: that which instills in a people the spirit of national unity and solidarity, the feeling and desire for national security and cohesion, thus strengthening the national will and the resolve to live together and uphold a national identity. It is what makes you love your nation above tribe or ethnic group.
- How then, do we re-invoke the spirit of national consciousness in minds of Nigerians? Historically for ages, it has been proved that countries and nation-states, used and still uses the symbolism of their national flags, to invoke the spirit of national consciousness and pride/love for their respect countries.
Respect for, and understanding of the symbolic value of a country’s National Flag is of great significance towards awakening patriotism and national consciousness which results to national unity and cohesion. The national flag is a solemn national symbol of civic pride. The flagrant abuse and disrespect of Nigeria’s No. 1 National Identity, the National Flag by her own very citizens, who are supposed to protect and honour it is a national embarrassment. It is therefore in a bid to correct this anomaly and promote a lasting awareness on the essence of our National Flag that Nigeria’s internationally recognized Vexillologist, Agiri Chris and a few other patriotic Nigerians came up with the idea of The Flag Foundation of Nigeria (FFN).
Vexillology is the scientific and historical study of flags and related emblems. It is concerned with research into flags of all kinds, both modern and historical; the creation of a body of practice for flag design & usage, and of a body of theory of flag development. Vexillology seeks to understand and explain, the important role played by flags from the ancient to the contemporary period. Vexillology is a conjunction of history, politics and culture, and a mirror for national identity.
WHO WE ARE:
- THE FLAG FOUNDATION OF NIGERIA (FFN) is a CIVIC, NON-POLITICAL, NON-SECTARIAN, and NON-PROFIT but DEEPLY PATRIOTIC reformist initiative established by PATRIOTIC NIGERIANS who has passionate love for the country and are determined to use every available and appropriate medium to promote respect for the Nigerian National Flag, using it as a tool to trigger a new sense of patriotic consciousness which will bring a turn-around of the mind-set of Nigerians toward national issues. The idea is to motivate every Nigerian to consider National Interest over and above all other interest, so as to promote National Unity and inspire Nigerians wherever domiciled to honestly contribute according to their capabilities to the development and upliftment of Nigeria. “the heart bit of Africa and the pride of the black race”
- To make patriotism the trade-mark of every Nigerian and re-invigorate the true essence of the National Flag as the strongest symbol of Nigeria’s unity.
- Promoting the National Flag as a tool to inculcate nationalistic affinity, eradicate tribal/religious cleavages; and enhance the development of patriotic character among Nigerians as encapsulated in the old National Anthem of:
- “Nigeria we hail thee
- Our own dear native land
- Though tribe and tongue may differ
- In brother-hood we stand
- Nigerians All are proud to serve
- Our sovereign mother land”.
- I pledge allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria
- And to the Nigerian Flag which represents its collective WILL
- I wholeheartedly subscribe to uphold the sanctity of this flag for which
- many Nigerian lives have been sacrificed to keep it flying.
- I support the will of the Nigerian people to chart the path of unity,
- peace and progress, and to build a national and prosperous community
- where equity and justice reigns under God.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
- To communicate positively to all Nigerians, emphasizing the importance and significance of our Great Nation’s No.1 national identity, the (green and white) Nigeria national flag which symbolizes our Unity-in-diversity.
- To arouse public sentiment in favour of the national flag, enhance its respect and to encourage the display of the “correct flag”, the “right way” over public and private premises.
- To install in all Nigerians a greater sense of patriotism.
- To combat all influences hostile to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to advance the true meaning of civil and religious liberty by creating appreciation and love for the Nigerian way of life under the green and white banner.
- To support government’s efforts in the fight against corruption in all ramifications, and encourage government to always play its role in nation building.
- To educate Nigerians that the business of nation building is not necessarily the prerogative of government alone, but a collaborative process between the government, private and corporate citizens and other organizations. That every Nigerian has a particular function to carry out as free citizens to help make our great country a better place for all.
- To establish positive youth development, empowerment and training centers alongside flag across the nation patriot plazas nationwide, where the youth shall be given citizenship and leadership training, skills acquisition on different craft arts and other skills to help ease unemployment and generally become patriotic citizens.
WHAT WE DO:
- Articulating and providing the support base for general public enlightenment on nation building as it relates to the national ethos, vis-à-vis: The Flag.
- Providing public enlightenment initiatives, via citizenship education to arouse national consciousness, with regards to the National Ethos (The Flag, National Anthem and Pledge), while promoting the spirit of patriotism and love for the nation.
- Promoting national pride through creative initiatives that would take the National Flag beyond mere symbolism.
- Educating and counseling the citizenry, Government institutions, agencies and corporate organizations on the significance of the National Flag and related matters.
- Providing invaluable promotional and educational materials on the National Flag and Symbols.
- FFN programmes are designed to ignite patriotism, promote national unity, re-kindle the hope and faith of citizens in our nation and its leadership, while creating awareness on our collective responsibilities in Nation building. Some of our programmes include:
- NATIONAL FLAG AWARENESS CAMPAIGN INITIATIVE: This program is designed to ultimately bring an end to the era of display of ‘cut’ and ‘sew’, and display of rags and banners, all in the name of national flag by Nigerians. It is aimed at educating, enlightening and sensitizing the Nigerian public, on the importance and significance of the national flag, as the symbol of a living country, the NO.1 national identity and the ‘pride’ of the nation.
- FLAG ACROSS THE NATION PROJECT: This Project is designed and developed to create awe-inspiring, educational, civic and patriotic sites, where across the country, beginning with the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to the 36 state capitals, down to the 774 local government headquarters nationwide.
This project involves the erection of 60mtrs (200ft) tall free-standing flag poles, in all the capitals of the 36 states of the federation, with a national flag that measures 18meters by 30meters (60ft by 100ft) in size, and the erection of 45meters (150ft) tall free-standing flag poles, in all the 774 local Government Area Headquarters Nation–wide, with national flag that measures 9meters by 18meters (30ft by 60ft) in size.
- FLAG IN THE NATION’S CLASSROOMS: This particular program, is an integral part of FFN’s YOUNG PATRIOTS EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE, which is aimed at CATCHING THEM YOUNG.
The program, involves the placement or installation of one wall or standing national flag in every school classroom in both secular and non-secular schools, beginning from kindergarten (Nursery), up to the primary and secondary schools, from the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, to the remotest classroom, located in the remotest Village, of the remotest Community, located in the remotest Ward, in the remotest Local Government Area, of every state in Nigeria.
- FLAG DEVOTION EXERCISE: This program, involves the provision of one hand-held National Flag for every Nigerian child within school age in both secular and non-secular schools, beginning from kindergarten (Nursery), up to the primary and secondary schools.
- THE NIGERIAN PRIDE PROJECT: This Project, will involve the erection of the Tallest and Largest Free Standing Flagpole in the World, with a height of 180meters (600ft), and on top of this pole, a majestic Nigerian National Green and White flag measuring 30 by 60 meters (100 by 200ft) will be hoisted.
- Flag Foundation of Nigeria is the first non-governmental organization that has and continues to champion flag and civic education towards developing respect and proper patronage of Nigeria’s National Flag.
- Flag Foundation believes in holistic reform of the Nigerian state. Our thinking is that the reformation of our institutions and transformation of the human element must be carried out simultaneously. This is imperative because human beings create and operate these institutions. Therefore, for a genuine and enduring transformation of the Nigerian society to take place, reformation of attitude of Nigerians MUST necessarily be carried out along these actionable lines:
- Intensive and massive moral, social and political education/re-orientation and re-awakening of all segments of the Nigerian society.
- Total war against all forms of corruption and corrupt practices.
- Re-establishment via social re-engineering in the Nigerian society of moral, cultural, and ethical values essential for national sustenance and development.
- Mass mobilization of the citizens for a common national engagement, such that will heighten national pride against all odds.
- Using every available and appropriate medium such as art, music, paintings, photographic exhibitions, cultural events, electronic & print media, publications, seminars, workshops, conferences, rallies, lectures, social networks, etc to promote respect for our National Flag and Symbols from every Nigerian citizen, Government and Corporate bodies, Organized private sector, etc.
- FFN implements her programmes in collaboration with the three tires of Government at all levels, MDAs, Corporate Nigeria, Professional Bodies and Associations, Civil Society Organizations, Advocacy Groups, NGOs, CBOS, Student Unions, Armed Forces, Para-military Organizations, Boys Scout, Boys Brigade and all other patriotically motivated organizations.
- We have a passionate and patriotic minded staff comprising seasoned professionals from diverse fields and backgrounds, interested in ensuring that true respect and recognition is accorded to our National Flag and Symbols.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR:
Within the past years FFN has embarked on various programmes and campaigns aimed at spreading the message of patriotism, love and respect for the National Flag and what it represents. Some of these programmes include:
Nigeria @ 50 (Golden Jubilee):
- We actively promoted the erection of a monument at Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos, the first residence of Nigerian National Flag in October 1960, prompting the Federal Government to erect an 18 Meters High Tower, named Independence Towers, and commissioned on the 26th of September 2012 by the Vice-President Arch. Namadi Sambo GCON.
The Nigerian National Flag Day:
- FFN is the organization that patriotically instituted the National Flag Day Celebration, a yearly celebration with its maiden edition held on the 16th of September 2011, the date on which the Act that instituted the Green and White National Flag was passed in the house of parliament.
Mare Festival, Ondo State:
- FFN actively participated in the 2011 MARE Festival in Ondo State, with the climax of the event being the hoisting of Nigerian National Flag atop UNESCO Heritage Site – Idanre Hills, by the mountain climbers.
NTA Children’s Variety Party Programme:
- The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in collaboration with the Flag Foundation of Nigeria (FFN) have organized special Sallah and Independence Day Parties for children, using the opportunity to socially educate and interact with these young Nigerians on the significance of National flag as a symbol of Nigeria’s unity-in-diversity, love for the Nation and their civic responsibility.
Young Patriots Movement/Flag rally:
- FFN on the 30th of September, 2011 organized a National Flag Rally as part of the FFN’s Young Patriots Educational Initiative.
Young Flag Bearers Club:
- FFN has also packaged and inaugurated the Young Flag Bearers Club in various schools across the nation. The Young Flag Bearers Club is the organization, which use extra-curricular activities to teach the youths more about the National Flag, the Nation and all they need to know to develop patriotism.
Television & Radio Programs:
- FFN has been featured in many Radio and Television Programs nationwide, some of which include “Tuesday Night Live”.
World Flag Institute Spring Meeting:
- FFN was the only African Country that participated at the World Flag Institute Spring Meeting in May 2012, with an official paper presentation by FFN Director General, entitled “The Imperatives of National Symbols In National Building: The Nigerian Experience”.
FFN has diligently facilitated the admission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria into relevant world flag organizations which include among others:
- International Federation of Vexillological Association (FIAV) USA
- World Flag Institute – UK
- North American Vexillological Association.
FROM THE DIRECTOR GENERAL’S DESK:
It is appalling to observe that Nigerians lack the spirit of patriotism even at the Leadership Cadre. This is evident in the high corruption rate prevalent in the country. However, as avid crusader, Late Sunny Okosuns of the Ozzidi Fame put it, “Which Way Nigeria?”
It is in this regard that the Flag Foundation of Nigeria (FFN) was established to positively promote and ignite recognition and respect for Nigeria’s National Flag and Symbols to enhance nation building and national unity.
FFN is here to enhance, improve on and complement the ethics revolution and objectives by being the vehicle to inspire hope and pride in our citizens through striving to uphold the dignity of Nigerian National Flag and Symbols, which is our national pride.
Thus, FFN is here to lead the way in ethical revolution and socially re-invigorate the post independence patriotic spirit of:
- Nigeria We Hail Thee,
- Though Tribe And Tongue May Differ,
- In Brotherhood We Stand
It is our belief that every Nigerian, Government Agencies, Organisations, institutions and Corporate Nigeria should take a stand of a Reformist towards the development and promotion of our national pride, the Nigerian National Flag. It is therefore pertinent for every Nigerian to BUY-IN to the Flag Foundation of Nigeria (FFN) ideology to enhance and improve our patriotic deficiencies.
The Flag Foundation of Nigeria is a Non-Governmental and non profit making organization established by patriotic Nigerians who are committed to work selflessly to promoting a better and respectable society for all Nigerians.
We are concerned about the gradual but steady descent of our great nation from all fronts of our national life. We are desirous to work with government and Nigerians with unmitigated love for our country to find lasting solutions to the challenges militating against the realisation of the dreams of authentic Nigerian nationhood.
At Flag Foundation of Nigeria, we believe that our country has more than enough potentials to launch itself into the orbit of greatness in a very short period of time if our priorities are rightly placed.
As our own way of contributing our quota to national revival and development, we have chosen to establish this organization, the first of its kind in Nigeria to stimulate the right attitude among Nigerians to the code of the national flag. We recognized that many Nigerians are ignorant of the full import of the Green and White flag of our great nation in our social life. In most cases, and quite unfortunate too, the culprits to this scandalous ignorance are Nigerians working in high places. There are obvious incidents of flying the flags wrongly in government owned establishments and corporate organizations even as most of the flags are printed with wrong materials.
It is therefore the desire of the Flag Foundation of Nigeria to step in and correct these anomalies.
We are open to every Nigerian at home and in the diaspora because we believe that the business of building a great nation must necessarily involve all and sundry.
We are determined to bring to the commonest understanding of the citizenry the exigencies and challenges of nation building, hence the need for a joint effort towards making our country a better place for all.