The Malta Independent 19 April 2019, Friday

PD stands for symbols which unite

Godfrey Farrugia Tuesday, 19 March 2019, 08:22 Last update: about 1 month ago

On today’s occasion of one of Malta's public holidays, the Feast of San Ġużepp, and in the wake of discussions on Constitutional reform, Partit Demokratiku is weighing in on the debate regarding national symbols with a message of unity. In past years, there have been discussions regarding Malta's national day.

When posed with the question of whether Malta's five national days should be reduced to one, Partit Demokratiku has weighed them whilst nonetheless pointing out that Malta is not the only country with more than one national day. In a time when our country is more divided than ever by tribalism and mistrust, Partit Demokratiku wishes to emphasize the importance of retaining all five national days at this point in time, whilst also pledging to protect the George Cross on Malta's flag in any Constitutional Convention.

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Each national day carries special significance to one person or another, and each one marks a definitive aspect of Maltese political history. The interpretation of such days varies not only between individual citizens but also between academics and historians. While Partit Demokratiku would make its own selection and retain its own preferences if forced to do so, at this point in time we are better off guarding all five national holidays, especially in light of discussions over our Constitution.

The question has recently been raised as to whether the George Cross has a place on our flag, when it should not be in any doubt whatsoever. We might as well pull down all the heritage built by the Knights, as it would follow the same logic. Malta is made up of a variety of cultural influences, and even in such a small country, there is great diversity in identity and culture across our islands. It would be cruel, disrespectful and unjust to discuss removing the George Cross which has such a unique significance to our people. The George Cross is ours, and we have applied our own meanings to it which are exclusive to us as a people. We must never forget the sacrifices of those who came before us.

Malta's journey to statehood and beyond is a story of success and triumph in the face of great hardship. We are a people forged through struggle and though we have had our many political disagreements over the centuries, what unites us is far stronger than anything which would seek to divide us. Malta and Gozo are crying out for politics of respect, in which the tribal war between the Nationalist Party and the Labour Party are history. Let us put country before party, always.

Partit Demokratiku will continue to serve the public interest for a Malta and Gozo which are a home for everyone regardless of their political beliefs or background. Together we can restore pride in our natural environment, history, identity, and thrive from our ability to co-exist with different cultures and nationalities while remaining clearly Maltese and Gozitan.

 

Godfrey Farrugia is a Member of Parliament and Leader of Partit Demokratiku

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