It was the 18th President of Liberia, Edwin James Barclay, who penned the immortal ‘The Lone Star Forever’ that we gladly sing at national occasions.
And why did Mr. Edwin Barclay, (1930-1944), write “The Lone Star Forever”? According to Daily Observer’s Diplomatic Correspondent, Mr. Joaquin Sendolo, it was partly because when Liberia was founded in 1847, the founding fathers, considering their experiences in the United States and the Caribbean, had now established a nation that at the time was the only country, beside Ethiopia, that was not colonized.
For the purpose of this article, we are going to reproduce the first stanza and the refrain of ‘The Lone Star Forever:” below:
“When Freedom raised her glowing form, On Montserrado’s verdant height, She set within the dome of night, ‘Midst lowering skies and thunder-storm,
The star of Liberty! And seizing from the waking morn, Its burnished shield of golden flame, She lifted it in her proud name, And roused a nation long forlorn, To nobler destiny!
REFRAIN: The Lone Star forever! The Lone Star forever! O long may it float o’er land and o’er sea! Desert it no never! Uphold it forever! O shout for the lone-starred banner! All hail!”
It is clear from the above that ‘The Lone Star Forever’ was written to glorify the new nation Liberia, whose founders had returned to Africa, following 400 years of slavery. The point is, The Lone Star Forever represents Liberia’s identity, both political and otherwise and it was meant to motivate ordinary Liberians to love and commit themselves to Liberia’s progress.
How then did a mobile phone company in Liberia use Liberia’s political identity as part of its business in the country to make money? Why have Liberians failed to protect with jealousy the glorious identification of what represents Liberia? How did a mobile phone company that has its three initials in every country it is operating ‘incorporate’ Liberia’s identity to make money? Why are we not talking about it?
Another point is this: The national sports teams of Liberia are known as LONE STAR. The Lone Star stands for Liberia, and therefore no amount of money should be accepted from any business entity to sell that ‘birthright.’ But in a country in which individual preferences are more important than national interest, it does not surprise many observers that a company has bought Liberia’s birthright.
I am aware that a mobile phone company has used the national identify Lone Star, since it was established in the country. How did that happen? Since the company is in Liberia to make money, how in the world should what represents the nation get mixed up with her brand name?
I am asking the National Legislature, Ministry of Commerce, National Investment Commission, among others to re-examine what I have stated here so that we can make sure that no business entity takes advantage of the trustfulness of Liberians to make money at their expense.
It is true that companies pay corporate and other taxes to the Liberian government but for a company to use a nation’s brand name should suggest that the people are rewarded for that. But we are yet know what other social benefits ordinary Liberians are getting from a company using their national identify, even though it carries their national pride.