‘Lone Star Does Not Belong to Liberia,’ Urey Clarifies

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Saying he did not want to dignify the claim that his company does not have the right to use the name Lone Star, the chairman of the board of directors of Lonestar Cell MTN Benoni Urey, has clarified that the ‘name Lone Star’ does not belong to Liberia.

In an interview with the Daily Observer on a wide range of national issues, yesterday at the newspaper’s offices in Monrovia, Mr. Urey said the name Lone Star originally belongs to the US state of Texas.

His response was due to a question about how Lonestar Cell MTN got the title as a brand name when Liberia traditionally, Lone Star represents Liberia.

Liberia’s history reports that in 1901, a brilliant but youthful Edwin James Barclay, son of Barbadian immigrants, who at the tender age of 19, composed the words and music of Liberia’s patriotic anthem, The Lone Star Forever!”

And since then the anthem has been sung to represent Liberia but it would seem that imitations of names, including towns that the immigrant Liberian community relished in, is the cause that Liberia to a larger extent cannot claim certain legacies as its own.

Though Monrovia was named after American President James Monroe, for his contribution towards the emancipation of the black people in the United States, a similar name already existed in that country. Monrovia is a city located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles County, California, in the United States.

Meanwhile according to Wikipedia, there is a town known as Lone Star, a city in Morris County, Texas, United States. It has a population of 1,581 at the 2010 census, according to the United States Census Bureau and the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), of which, 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) of it is land and 0.50% is water.

Hence, Urey said Liberia cannot claim to own the name Lone Star, as many people have claimed, especially so when they have insisted that some financial remuneration should be paid to Liberia for his company’s use of the brand name Lonestar.

“The nickname ‘Lone Star State’ originates from the star on the 1836 flag of the Republic of Texas, signifying Texas as a former independent republic, and as a reminder of the state’s struggle for independence from Mexico. The ‘Lone Star’ can be found on the Texas state flag, the state seal, the U.S. Mint’s bicentennial commemorative quarter for Texas, and is also recognized as the official state gemstone cut of Texas. All State Nicknames,” an American source said.

Another issue is the name Liberia, said to mean the “Land of the Free” adopted by the founding fathers to replace Grain Coast in West Africa. Research has revealed that a similar name exists in Costa Rica. Modern-day Liberia as a city in Costa Rica was founded as a hermitage without any legal or formal act of foundation on 4 September 1769, according to Wikipedia. It is located in a strategic location where the roads from the towns of Rivas, Bagaces, and Nicoya met and used primarily as a place of rest by travelers.

The settlement itself shared a history with Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In 1812 the Cádiz Cortes created the providence of Nicaragua and Costa Rica and both achieved independence from Spain on 15 September 1821 after the Spanish defeat in the Mexican War of Independence. It had a population of 56,899 in 2013, according to Wikipedia.

The above information should put to rest the periodic claim, including this writer, that the nickname Lone Star represents Liberia and therefore it must not be used by any business entity like Lonestar Cell MTN.

The lack of originality in names and identifications about Liberia makes it difficult for anyone to make demands for the sole use of a particular nickname or emblem; for you don’t have to go too far but look at the flag of Liberia to know that it was partially copied from the United States.

How then can we claim sole ownership of an emblem that another country has its copyright status.

Lonestar Cell MTN and any other business or community can even use the name Maryland County, if they want, for it was borrowed from the United States and the Americans may be happy to get free promotion of what they have provided for others in the pursuit of justice, freedom and liberty.

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