St. Martin Unity Flag presentation to MAC Community School students

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St. Martin Unity Flag held high by student, flamboyant tree blooming in the background, Shanice Felix (5th L) and teacher Jamal Newton (center, back row), with students of the Methodist Agogic Centre (MAC) Community School. (Photo courtesy/permission JN)

 

GREAT BAY, St. Martin (July 3, 2024)—The St. Martin Unity Flag was the “workshop” topic recently at the Methodist Agogic Centre (MAC) Community School, said teacher Jamal Newton.

The workshop centered around a PowerPoint of the Unity Flag to Teacher Jamal’s class of about 13 students. Shanice Felix conducted the PowerPoint presentation, classroom discussion, and gifted students with junior scholastic booklets about St. Martin nation-builders.

Felix started her presentation with the history of the Unity Flag, launched on August 31, 1990, the people involved, and the meaning of the colors and symbols of the banner. 

It was pointed out that the St. Martin people on both sides of the island have been using the Unity Flag for cultural, educational, environmental, church, conference, sports, labor, and protest activities. Some of the uses were talked about and some were illustrated with photos. 

Finally, Felix pointed to 2022, when the Unity Flag was “recognized … by the governments in Marigot and Philipsburg as the ‘cultural symbol … affirming the unity and identity’ of the people of the entire island of St. Martin.”

The students asked questions especially about the elements in the canton of the flag such as the sword and other symbols, said Felix. Shanice Felix is the organizer of the St. Martin Unity Flag troupe for the St. Martin Day cultural parade in November 2024.

Teacher Jamal said that Felix’s workshop on June 14 was part of the yearly “Community School Projects.” Reading to the students is a feature of the multi-subject project. “We push a lot of reading in school, so we bring in people to read to our students,” said the teacher. Past presenters have included noted authors visiting the island for the St. Martin Book Fair.

The scholastic booklets, like those received by the students, and books about St. Martin literature were also presented by Felix for the MAC library or media center.  

The reading motivation and literary publications such as the Chester York, Gassy, and Mr. Bibi readers and Brother Rich … Creative Writing in St. Martin were donated by House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP). The president of HNP, Jacqueline Sample, was on-island at the time of the Unity Flag presentation and had the publisher contact Felix with the offer of book gifts.