West Africa: Togo
Irish missionaries based
in Nigeria formed the first Orange lodge in West Africa before the First
World War, with a view to promoting among new congregations the true spirit
of Christian fellowship.
Most Wor. Bro. Emenyo Mawule K. Aboki Essien
Symbolism of the flag colours.
Red: it is the symbol of the blood which was shed by Togolese people for Independence and of the blood which will be shed by the sons of the Nation in order to protect its integrity and sovereignty against all agressors. Today it ought to be understood as symbolizing of the martyrdom of our countrymen who died for Democracy and Legality, as is epitomized in young Tavio Amorin (1992) and many others. [The latter sentence, I think, must be a personal statement by the author.]
Green: by its freshness, green has been a symbol of hope through ages and civilizations. For a Togo rising from the ashes of colonization, green must convey hope for a better life, dawn of a new era. Today, this hope ought to be more alive than ever! For hope is a positive thought for the construction of the Nation. Green also is a symbol of nature, a symbol of Agriculture, which is basic for development. Like a young shoot, Togo, with its manifold possibilities and its irrepressible vitality, will bloom in full view of the world.
Yellow: it symbolizes the precious value of National Unity and also the maturity of Togolese people envisionning a common destiny. It is a symbol of our subsoil's wealth as well.
White: as in the depths of Africa, the colour white symbolizes Peace, Wisdom, Dignity, Light -- light of clear-sightedness and intelligence. Just as is shown in the solar spectrum, white light is the sum of all shades, and therefore a universe for all political colours and all hearts gathered in a common vigour in acting for Independence.
Let us now consider the five-pointed star:
First of all, it is the symbol of life. This life which is necessary for the development of each single being from the very beginning of his or her existence. So that the Togolese Nation may live forever, this star, through its reign -- the pentameter reign dear to Pythagoras -- will endow the Togolese with the life and strength necessary for their inner development and external blossoming. The white star flying out from the blood shed by our ancestors also symbolizes Liberty, which we gained together with Independence and must safeguard with Labour of our own hands in the service of the Motherland. Such is the meaning of our motto, "Travail, Liberté, Patrie" ("Labour, Liberty, Motherland"), in which the ordering of words is intentional.
Finally, let us consider the symbolism of the stripes and their distribution. There are five stripes. Just like the five fingers, the five stripes of the Togolese flag symbolize Action. Our determination to overcome every obstacle -- poverty, underdevelopment, neocolonialism, internal and tribal struggles -- must assert itself in everyday action. Alternating colours express the diversity of our peoples, whose harmony is only made possible through unity. Like the five fingers of one hand, the Togolese must draw strength for action from national unity and solidarity. This message is more topical than ever! [Another personal comment, I would say.]
As for the proportions of the emblem, Mr. Paul Ahyi has envisaged a "A rectangle of the golden section" worth 1.618 . As you can see, nothing has been left to chance!