When Uganda attained its independence on 9th October 1962, a number of symbols were put in place to depict the independent state the country had attain. As we celebrate Independence today, we look back at the national symbols that define our freedom. Here are the independence symbols and their significance.
Independence monument is a symbol of history that was put in place after independence. A well curved sculpture made out of concrete stands in the heart of Kampala on the wall fence just below Sheraton Hotel and above Grand Imperial Hotel and Stan-Chart bank. This beautiful art piece was created by Gregory Maloba, a Luhya sculptor from Kenya who studied and was once a lecturer at Makerere University from 1939- 1965.
He made the monument months before October 9, 1962- the day of Uganda’s independence. The sculpture shows a man unwrapping a child from a cloth and raising it to the sky. Faruk Kabugo a social studies teacher at Kyaliwajara Umea notes that the Independence Monument signifies a new born country that is now free from colonialism and any bondages.
The crested crane
The crested crane is defined as a peaceful and gentle bird hence the reason it was selected to represent the independence Uganda had attained. The crane appears on the Uganda Flag and the Coat of Arms standing on one leg a symbol to show the Uganda is moving forward. Harming of keeping a crested crane in your home is a crime.
The Uganda flag was adopted on 9 October 1962, the date that Uganda became independent from the United Kingdom. It is a piece of cloth that consist three repetitive colours liad in six horizontal bands in clours of black, yellow and red. In the center is a circular disc in white that contains a grey crowned crane standing in one leg.
“The black colour represents Africa, the red brotherhood and the yellow the abundant sunshine that Uganda has,” says kabugo.
He adds that the Uganda crane emphasizes the gentleness Uganda has since it’s a gentle and a peaceful bird. It standing on one leg shows that Uganda is moving on despite the hardships. The flag was designed by the then Minister of Justice, Grace Ibingira.
“The Flag is raised at a half must to show the country is mourning (incase an important person dies,” he adds.
Kenneth Ategeka a social study teacher at Golden nursery and primary school notes that the national anthem was adopted in 1962, with words and music create by George Wilberforce Kakoma. Its said that the anthem was created at just 8 bars of music. Ategeka adds that the Uganda Anthem is one of the shortest anthems in the whole world and it is usually performed with two verses and three when the president is present. As per now, the Ugandan national anthem has been translated into twenty-five major languages of Uganda.
Coat of arms of Uganda
The coat of arms of Uganda was adopted three weeks before the proclamation of independence by the Uganda Legislative Council. On 1 October 1962 the arms were approved by Governor of Uganda Walter Coutts, and formally established by law on 9 October.
Ruth Komujuni a primary teacher notes that the Coat of arms of Uganda consist of a shield, and spear which represents the defense that Ugandans have towards their country. On the shield, are three images, the lake that represents Lake Victoria and lake Alberta and other water bodies in the country, the sun in the middle that show the brilliant sun that Uganda has and a drum that symbolizes the culture, dancing and excitement Ugandans have.
The shield is flanked on the left side by a crested crane a strain of the grey-crowned crane and the national bird of Uganda. On the right is the Ugandan kob a species of kob that represents Uganda’s abundant wildlife.
The shield stands on a green mound, representing fertile land, and directly above a representation of the River Nile. Two main cash crops, coffee and cotton, flank the river. At the extreme bottom on a in a fully designed line is the national motto: “For God and My Country”.