May 18, 1959
|In presenting to you as We have to other unites in the various branches of our armed services -- |
land, air and naval forces -- We say now as we have said then, the national flag is the symbol of a
nation's independence. Our national flag was nvever cancelled not even during the five years of the
partial occupation of Ethiopia, because our valiant patriots, under our orders, courageously
resisted the enemy. Many countries refused to recognize the occupation and there the Ethiopian
flag continued as an emblem of Ethiopia's freedom. The faithful people of Gojjam fought bravely
against the enemy during the invasion, they resisted the occupation, and rather than submitting to
the enemy, many of them preferred to live as refugees.
Presenting this flag to the Second Battalion which under Our command marched into the capital,
symbolizes Our triumpant entry into Addis Ababa, which does not limit its significance to the
battalion, but is of meaning to the whole of the Empire. This flag you receive now is the symbol not
only of the resistance and the sacrifices endured during the exile; it is witness of the historic
moment when we raised the Ethiopian flag at Omedla. During that time this battalion was a guard
of honour to Ourselves, and We know better than anyone the services rendered by each one of you
when this battalion served as Our guard of honour.
The faithful people of Gojjam who fought relentlessly during the five years against the enemy,
never surrendering, were chosen to be the first among those to liberate the country and lead the
campaign to victory. The value of a flag springs from the sacrifices made to defend it as the symbol
of independence, otherwise there is no difference between a flag and any other piece of cloth. That
is why the flag is an eternal source of inspiration, of loyalty and the symbol of the sacred duty and
obligation of a soldier; to him it is a moral sentinel.
We entrust this flag to you -- this testimony to those who have served Us by their sacrifices made
during the exile and the campaign of liberation; moreover, this symbol of the sacrifices made by
the patriots. We hope the Almighty will guide you to fulfil this trust.
|Haile Selassie the First - May 18, 1959|