South Sudan: Clarification on the Meaning and Usage of the National Anthem

Posted: July 23, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, History, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Mayom Bul Atem, Juba, South Sudan

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 (PW) — As someone who was part of the committee that created South Sudan National Anthem I beg to differ with those who are making fun of President Kiir for ordering politicians and public servants not to sing the national song in his absence. Three important symbols of sovereignty are not used at random. These are

1. The national flag

2. The national coat of arms

3. The national anthem

These three symbols of sovereignty are obviously misused by South Sudanese. Our coat of arms was literally put on every letterhead logo by various government agencies and private companies. Yet, the coat of arms is supposed to appear in the letterhead of the presidency, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense, (I may have omitted a few more, but you got the idea).

On the national flag, majority of South Sudanese, including government offices use a wrong flag. The moment you use a wrong colour in the flag, that flag becomes a wrong one. Instead of using SKY BLUE in the triangle, South Sudanese use DARK BLUE instead. The colours of the national flag are properly described and explained by the committee that was tasked to work on the flag. Their hue values are also stated for those who are professional graphic designers and printers.

The national anthem is strictly to be sung in functions to be officiated by the head of state, which in our case is the President. Other politicians and civil servants have their songs which are sung when they are the ones officiating the occassions. There should be exceptions especially on Independence Day where every public gathering celebrating the country’s independence should be allowed to sing the national anthem.

But in most cases, most ministers, governors and civil servants either intentionally or out of sheer ignorance of the existing protocol end up singing the national anthem when officiating functions. Yet there are songs prepared for them by the national band (Silah Muzika).

What the President stopped are politicians and civil servants who leave anthems meant for them and use what is meant for him instead.

He was not talking about schools and other events such as international and regional sports competitions where the national anthem is to be sung for our national teams.

There are specific protocols and etiquette that are to be followed. For example, you are supposed to stand still when the flag is being hoisted or lowered. Several examples on what to do when singing the national anthem are there too.

In the recent past, every politician and senior civil servant used to be called His Excellency or H.E. But the title of His Excellency is for the Presidency and Ambassadors. Some knuckleheads still call governors, commissioners and ministers “His Excellency” to date. They are to be called Honourable.

I do not blame South Sudanese because they have not been properly sensitized about these important issues. Can the Ministry of Youth and Culture together with that of Cabinet Affairs educate us on these.


Misconception of the Meaning for National Anthem

By Molana Arop Malook, Juba, South Sudan

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 (PW) — A case in point is cabinet Resolution on Friday 19th July, 2019 banning singing National Anthem in a functions where the president is not present.

Brief summary about singing National Anthem:

“The national Anthem, like other national symbols of a Country, represents the tradition, history, and beliefs of a nation and its people. Hence, it helps evoke feeling of patriotism among the Country’s citizens and reminds them of their National’s glory, beauty, and rich heritage”.

The National Anthem is in compliance to part three of the Transitional Constitution that provide fundamental objectives and guiding principles of the Country especially article 36 (2) (b) and (c).

Nevertheless, national anthem ban not to be sing in functions where the president is not present depict the violation of the citizens’ fundamental rights to the patriotism.

I also question why our national flag was not also ban not to be place in an office where the president doesn’t sit and left only to be place in J1?

The fundamental rights that has been infringes by this national anthem bans are as follow:

a) school children will no longer learn or know their country national anthem. Meanwhile they were suppose to sing it every morning during parade time and then follow by their school anthem.

b) Our nationals sports team will not be singing South Sudan National Anthem at the international sports or games hence they will not be having a country they are representing.

c) national harmony, unity, peace, reconciliation and healing co-existence among the people of South Sudanese is day light slaughter and kill by the cabinet that are our national task to lead.

d) among others.

It is indeed sad and shocking for our lawyers that are in the cabinet who failed to advice the president legally what the National Anthem mean to the citizens and people of South Sudan. Individual interest had been downfall of the president since day 1.

In this case president should not be blame because president need advice, is a human being like others.

Request to the Parliament: I therefore, request the parliament to immediately intervene and use Article 57 of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 to debate it and cancel the resolution of the council of ministers.

By Arop Malook Lual (Advocate)


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  1. Malith Alier says:

    The president has banned soldiers from talking politics. I am right?
    The president or the council of ministers has never cited any law that grants him the exclusive use of the above symbols. Why did it take him more than 8 years to claim?
    The coat of arms like national flag should be used in every government department. This is the fact because it the same government and no one person should monopolies them.
    Be ware the so-called president will soon ban the use/flying of national flag at the ministries and departments citing the same edict by the council of ministers.


  2. Deng says:

    The most abused titles in South Sudan:
    – His Excellency (H.E).
    – Honourable (Hon.).
    – Professor (Prof.).
    – General (Gen.).
    – Doctor (Dr.).

    Who is to be blamed?


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