Students and staff of the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) were given a piece of national history when four panellists spoke on amendments to the national Flag, national anthem and the Constitution of the country.
The four panellists presented as part of the Centre for Samoan Studies Film and seminar series, in a presentation titled Symbolic Nationalism in Flux: Origins and Amendments to Samoa’s Anthem, Flag and Constitution.
Panellists include, Rosa Maiai, August Hansell (Tuso), Peseta Frank Wong and Professor Meleisea Leasiolagi Malama Meleisea.
Rosa Maiai spoke on how, where and when the flag came about. According to Maiai, the two Tamaaiga Malietoa and Tupua Tamasese created the flag.
Pens were used to colour the flag. The red part of the flag symbolises the blood of our forefathers. Blue symbolises the national unity and the white part is for our Pacific location. The flag was then taken to the Fono A Faipule for approval and it was approved.
It was in 1948 around June was when the flag was raised for the first time.
The original flag was taken by Ms. Brown from Masiofo Nouē and up until now the original flag is nowhere to be seen.
One of the panel members, Peseta Frank Wong shed some light on the history of the composer of the National Anthem.
According to Peseta, Sauniaau Ioane Iiga Kuresa composed the National Anthem.
He was a well known musician of his time, releasing his first composition in 1931, called “ Lou Nuu e Samoa e, Ua e Lalelei.
in 1939 he made history of being the first person to play two trumpets together, and he went on to start his own band at Leauvaa the same year.
He started a band at Leauvaa in 1939.
Sauniaau was born on the 23rd of January 1901 and died on the 10th July 1978.
Among his many achievements, was his love for music and painting.
Professor Meleisea Leasiolagi Malama Meleisea spoke on the amendments to the Constitution of Samoa,
He covered the Fundamental Rights, Customary Rights, Voting Rights, Womens Rights and Christianity in his presentation.
This seminar was part of the Centre for Samoan Studies seminar and film series at the National University of Samoa.