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Noel Arscott intervenes in flag controversy

Posted: April 14, 2012

The minister of local government has intervened in the controversy surrounding the incomplete replica of the Jamaican flag, used as a backdrop at a recent civic ceremony in St. James.

There has been a firestorm of protests since it was reported that the green had been left out of the flag, and the space blackened at a function to swear in the St James council, now controlled by the PNP.

Counter claims and denials about how the green was left out have stoked the flames of the controversy, with calls from the opposition leader for the prime minister to order a full enquiry and for the mayor of Montego Bay to step down.

In a statement this afternoon, Noel Arscott apologized on behalf of the government for what he says was the inadvertent misuse of the colours of the Jamaican flag, at the recent swearing in ceremony.

He says as minister with responsibility for local government, the buck stops with him with regards to the issue.

The minister said a full investigation is being carried out and the chips will fall where they may.

The man named as instructing the decorator to leave out the green Courney Hume has resigned as assistant to St James MP, Sharon Folkes Abrahams.  

Mr. Arscott says based on his investigations so far, errors may have been committed by a number of parties, which he states could extend to the municipal service, the private contractor, and persons in the employ of the state, on the recommendation of the political directorate.

Mr. Arscott says he has requested that the parish councils’ services commission, investigate the role and responsibility of the secretary manager, and his staff in the matter.

He says private contractors engaged by parish councils and public servants within the councils will be retrained in the protocols, relating to the appropriate use of Jamaica’s national symbols.

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