Selected Speeches Of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I


In presenting to you as We have to other units in the various branches of our armed services-land, air and naval forces-We say now as we have said then, the national flag is the symbol of a nation's independence. Our national flag was never cancelled not even during the five years of the partial occupation of Ethiopia, because our valiant patriots, under our orders, courageously resisted the enemy. Many countries refused to recognize the occupation and there the Ethiopian flag continued as an emblem of Ethiopia's freedom. The faithful people of Gojjam fought bravely against the enemy during the invasion, they resisted the occupation, and rather than submitting to the enemy, many of them preferred to live as refugees.

Presenting this flag to the Second Battalion which under Our command marched into the capital, symbolizes Our triumphant entry into Addis Ababa, which does not limit its significance to the battalion, but is of meaning to the whole of the Empire. This flag you receive now is the symbol not only of the resistance and the sacrifices endured during the exile; it is witness of the historic moment when we raised the Ethiopian flag at Omedla. During that time this battalion was a guard of honour to Ourselves, and We know better than anyone the services rendered by each one of you when this battalion served as Our guard of honour.

The faithful people of Gojjam who fought relentlessly during the five years against the enemy, never surrendering, were chosen to be the first among those to liberate the country and lead the campaign to victory. The value of a flag springs from the sacrifices made to defend it as the symbol of independence, otherwise there is no difference between a flag and any other piece of cloth. That is why the flag is an eternal source of inspiration, of loyalty and the symbol of the sacred duty and obligation of a soldier; to him it is a moral sentinel.

We entrust this flag to you-this testimony to those who have served Us by their sacrifices made during the exile and the campaign of liberation; moreover, this symbol of the sacrifices made by the patriots. We hope the Almighty will guide you to fulfil this trust.

May 18, 1959.

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Emperor Haile Sellassie First Theocracy Reign
Order of the Nyahbinghi

August 23, 2017