$2m spent on flag for ‘national pride’

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

$2m spent for national pride

What’s the cost of the national flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain? Is it $2 million? But Sport and Youth Affairs Minister Gary Hunt, while unable to confirm the flag’s price tag, said even if it was true, it would be “nothing out of the ordinary.” The flag was unveiled by Hunt at an official ceremony on August 4. He said then the flag was intended to be seen from far away and from every direction. He said then it was also intended to remind citizens of “its noble message and we feel a deep sense of national pride.” Hunt was questioned about the flag during yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. He said it was “130 feet high and takes a considerable amount of engineering to plant a structure that high and of that weight.”

He added: “There is a lot of work that had to be done on the foundation level. I am not exactly sure if that figure ($2 million) is exactly correct but if it that is the cost it is what the flag does for the citizenry of Trinidad and Tobago as we pass there. There is no price on national pride.” Hunt said his ministry and the Government were “very proud to erect such a flag as a symbol of our country for all to see.” Asked if a flag, costing taxpayers $10 million to elicit national pride, also would not be a problem, Hunt said: “You are taking the question to another realm.” The Minister then attempted to clarify his position. “What I said is if it costs that amount ($2 million), the Government of T&T is happy and proud to create a symbol of national pride, which our flag should imbue in all citizens.”
Full Article : guardian.co.tt

Hunt: National flag at stadium priceless
Sport Minister Gary Hunt does not know how much the large flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium cost the Government. But he believes that one cannot put a price on national pride.

Fireone Fireworks FX was chosen by Sport-TT to design, supply and install the giant national flag at the Hasley Crawford Stadium.
(Fireone Fireworks FX on Facebook)

18 thoughts on “$2m spent on flag for ‘national pride’”

  1. Is is a matter that should not even be questioned. By making this an problem, what we are really doing is questioning the value you of our flag whether it cost 2 or 10 mil it should not be an issue.

  2. It’s a real question where the figure of $2 million came from.

    And, in response to the ‘proud trini’ (who isn’t proud enough to capitalize Trini) – erm – we *should* be looking at the price if it’s over a million dollars. Seriously, it’s… a flag, made up of material, etc. A flag that costs so much really doesn’t make sense when that money could have spent elsewhere.

    But, by all means, wave your hand in the air like you just don’t care. 🙂

  3. “$2m spent for national pride What’s the cost of the national flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain? Is it $2 million?”

    Look how allyuh getting Stevie upset.. What happen, yuh cyah read ENGLISH. Yuh doh kno wah ah QUESTION MARK stands for?
    Now, dem Guardian Investigative Reporters need some education..
    I guess they caught up in a time warp.. This is the information age baby..
    Do us a favor and report the news… Not try to create it…

  4. In the year when the President of Uganda,I believe his name was Musuveni came to trinidad for Emnaciation, I was down doing some voluntary work. I took my American friend, who had come to volunteer with me, to the NAtional Stadium to hear both the Prime Minister and the visiting president speak. I was distressed about two things, thae amount of noise of people talking during the speeches, including the nuts vendor who was making a nuisance of himself, and the total absence of any flag, either that of the visiting country or of Trinidad and Tobago. I asked two policewomen who were standing nearby about it, and one of them contemptuously pointed to the Prime Minister and said “Ask dat man talking dere”.Then she said they are not supposed to comment on politics. what an idiot of a woman, I thought. She had just commented inappropriately. There was a flag, a lone Ethiopian flag held proudly by three men, for about two hours.Then they left. i could not beliee the number of empty flagpoles, an not a Trini flag in sight.I he picture of this.It made me ashamed.

    If someone finally thought to erect a large flag that would stand proudly over a stadium named for our first Olympic Gold Medal winner, I would say it was a good investment. hope to see it proudly waving when next I pass “dere”.
    Its true you can’t eat a flag, but even if it cost two million, that is only $1.30 per head of population. A dollar does not buy much, but a flag is something to be proud of. Incidentally, I have one on display inside my house. And there is one on the wall of a African Cultural Center in my hometown in the USA. I am proud of those also.

  5. Dumas: Clueless PNM worst govt in 50 years

    Elizabeth Williams Tobago Bureau
    Sunday, November 1st 2009

    This current People’s National Movement administration is the worst T&T has had for 50 years, says retired head of the public service Reginald Dumas.

    Dumas, who in an interview yesterday also described the current administration as “clueless”, was commenting on the recent revelations that the monstrous T&T flag erected at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, may have cost taxpayers close to $2 million. He noted Sport Minister Gary Hunt’s comments regarding the flag, saying if that was the intellectual level of the current ministers, T&T was in serious trouble.

    “I have never heard such rubbish coming out of a minister of Government in this country or any other country in a long time,” Dumas said. Hunt did not confirm or deny that the cost of the flag was $2 million but said that whatever the cost, one could not put a cost on national pride.

    Dumas said Hunt’s statements that no matter the cost of the flag, Government was proud to erect such a symbol of national pride was disrespectful of the national community.

    “I think that I was representing this country long before Mr Hunt was born, and I really do not need him to tell me about national pride,” said Dumas.

    “The country lacks proper political leaders at all levels,” he insisted.
    Full Article : trinidadexpress.com

  6. Fudged and smudged

    By Martin Daly
    Sunday, November 1st 2009

    This is a dangerous time for us. Fundamental rights are under attack, as is the Judiciary, the primary arbiter of the extent of those rights. As my esteemed colleague, Selwyn Ryan, wrote in this newspaper two Sundays ago: “What we are witnessing is an unconcealed attempt at comprehensive executive aggrandisement.” I would add that the attempt is intended to acquire power to whatever extent is necessary in order to mow down anything and smear anyone interfering with the executive aggrandisement plan.
    Full Article : trinidadexpress.com

  7. If Trinis generally did not care about the fact that their government in the past spent billions propping up ungrateful Caribbean nations , while they were left with the crumbs, then they won’t worry today about a 2 million dollar flag. If most did not loose much sleep over the recent 100million dollar heads of state conference that will translate to naught, a two million dollar flag is the least of their concern.
    As for the second article. I am of the view that cousin Obama will continue to remain lost as long as the confuse , leaderless,and sleeping Republican opposition is in place.Kind of reminds me of Trinidad and Tobago. We will get it together in time.

  8. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. Possibly 2 million spent on a flag while guest workers survive in deplorable conditions. $2 million dollars spent purchasing a flag while local police are undertrained and the community is underserved. $2million spent for a flag while countless others live without proper shelter and streets are lined with open sewers.
    I could go on and on, but what’s the point? If no one gets the point by now, who am I to ruin their paradise with reality? What I find unbelievable are the clowns who think that this makes the country look good. I ask them to whom does the country look good? I cannot think of any country that would spend so frivolously. The flag was made in China and your telling me/ us that it cost $2 million dollars? What a sick pathetic joke.

  9. The fact of the matter is that alleged ‘perceptive’ concern folks like yourself far removed from the scene , the countless foreign based card carrying party hacks, cyber tiger intellectual global saviors, and a few elites with narrow economic interest at home, can preach until the cows come home about how disgusting the situation is at home.
    It would however translate to nothing worthwhile until the general voting populace that that deals daily with the prevailing realities are prepared to say ‘enough,’ and push for meaningful changes.
    Our people are in need of solutions, not denouncements, and insensitive verbal head bashing by those that ran when the situation was equally dire decades ago.

  10. The truth is the truth no matter who it comes from right? What are the facts? If I weren’t in POS and I were in some far off country stating the same comments on this subject, would they have any less merit than yours considering that they are just adding to what you posted? Sometimes the truth hurts, but it does not mean that it is insensitive, without humility, and patronizing. There is only one solution and that is to stop letting the government exploit our interest!

  11. Very well Curtis. Your point is quite valid. I shudder to think what many of us would have resorted to in the absence of the ability to write.A coup every other week as they do in crazy Africa , and Latin America perhaps? We should therefore show gratitude for this excellent forum, agreed my friend?
    I recall the writer Graham Green stating the following:-“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition”
    In reference to your specific concern for the truth he added the following: ” The truth has never been of any real value to any human being. It is a symbol for mathematicians and philosophers to pursue. In human relations, kindness and lies are worth a thousand words.”
    Let us in this vain pretend to put aside or differences in like manner to our PM and political rival Mr. Panday , and enjoy the spirit of political compromise and bipartisanship, eh?.
    I believe we are about to see a slight dent on typical Trini political gridlock , as constitutional reform,and a comprehensive crime bill is about to be achieved as the Opposition decides to work together with the government in the national interest.
    Still think that it is only the present government that has exploited our interest cousin Curtis? Think again. It is said that “the truth shall set you free.” I’ll add , it depend on whose truth, agreed?
    Love country.

  12. The Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) has confirmed that the flag at the National Stadium cost taxpayers two million TT dollars. On the news tonight there were some Orwellian attempts to justify this cost. I wonder how much kickback was paid on that project.

  13. The audacity of the Government. I do concur that it takes courage to stand in front of the nation and condone the 2 million dollar cost of a national flag. The common man is not blind especially when it is blatant that the Government has once again squandered millions of tax-payers’ dollars.
    “Res ipsa loquitur”`-“the thing speaks for itself”.
    The nerve of the Government.

  14. It would seem as if the feelings of outrage continues unabated amongst a small segment of our population.
    Lets try this then as a counteractive measure. See if we can mobilize a couple hundred of our outraged citizens to march down towards the Red House or the PM’s residence and hopefully shut down POS until the sleeping , insensitive politicians wake up and take action.
    ‘Neyt,’ a small inner voice is whispering to me. You stand a better chance of jumping into a Chaguanas Maxi taxi and driving to the moon ,than get Trinis worked up over anything serious that affects them , beyond the usual whining , empty gestures,and childish old talk. Refresh my memory ,which kiasonian it is that once said in song – “we like it so?”

  15. Would people seek change inside and then bring it out for the nation to see? I will run for government since no one else is brave enough for change in this country. The country is in need of dire help…when Trinidad voted for the PNM, they made an oath in red, that the country belonged to a party or a man, but put your faith in men, and rest assured of the legacy of a fool..PNM country, when God is refused. This happened before with the people of Israel, they wanted a king instead of allowing God, the I AM, to be their leader and king. It was a great sin..and the people paid greatly. Whoa to my country…this is not a love thing! Return righteousness to the head and the country will heal.

  16. Why does not someone on the scene, seek a quote in TNT dollars for a similar flag, size wise, and similar pole, including hiring the crew to erect it, and the truck with the cherry picker? Then, when we have three quotes from companies for camparable flags, maybe we will have something to chew on. I am glad that there IS a flag there, but I have no idea what big flags cost. They are special orders, so guys, instead of blabbing, get some facts and publish them, with names of companies.Then armed with that and the costs from the company that actually did the production, we could argue further.

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