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Liberia

The Beginning . . .
In 1816, an organization called the American Colonization Society (ACS), was founded by Robert Finley. The organization was made up mostly of white clergymen, abolitionist and former slave owners. The ACS was mainly responsible for establishing Liberia.

The name Liberia actually means “land of the free,” and became a place where people went so they could enjoy freedom. The capital city of Liberia is Monrovia.The city is spread across the Mesurado peninsula with the greater metropolitan area encircling the marshy Mesurado river’s mouth. Attractions include the Liberian National Museum, the Masonic Temple, Waterside Market, several beaches, and the SKD Sports Complex.

Declaration of Independence
One of the things that make Liberia special is, Liberia was the first self-governing country in Africa. The Declaration of Independence, a document officially establishing Liberia as a free and independent nation, was adopted on July 26, 1847. Eleven men signed this document: Samuel Benedict, Hilary Teague, Elijah Johnson, John N. Lewis, Beverly R. Wilson, J. B. Gripon, John Day, Amos Herring, Anthony W. Gardner, Ephrain Titler,  and Richard E. Murray.

Every year, July 26 is celebrated as Twenty-six or Independence Day.

The Great Seal of Liberia

The emblem of the Great Seal of Liberia on a document shows that the document is important, genuine and official. Above the Liberian emblem, a picture with a motto, are the written words, The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here, meaning, the settlers founded Liberia to enjoy freedom from slavery. Below the emblem are the words, The Republic of Liberia. The body shows a ship, rising sun, palm tree, plow (wheelbarrow & shovel), and a dove with a scroll in its mouth. The ship signifies the return of the descendants of Africans who had been sold into slavery centuries ago. The palm tree represents the natural resources of Liberia; the plow points out how the natural resources would be removed. The dove stands for peace and the scroll is a sign of communication between Liberia and the world.

 

The Liberian flag is called, Lone Star. It bears a close resemblance to the flag of the United States because of the former Americans who helped to establish Liberia. The eleven stripes represent the signatories or the men who signed the Liberian Declaration of Independence. The red stands for courage, the white stands for moral excellence, the white star represents the then only independent African country, the blue stands for bravery and the square represent the continent of Africa.

Painting of the seven women commissioned to design the Liberian Flag.

Susannah Lewis, Sarah Draper, Mary L. Hunter, Rachel Johnson, Matilda Newport, Mrs. J. B. Russwurm, and Collinette Teage Ellis.

The 15 Administrative Divisions
Bomi County (Tubmanburg), Bong County (Gbarnga), Gbarpolu County (Bopulu), Grand Bassa County (Buchanan), Grand Cape Mount County (Robertsport), Grand Gedeh County (Zwedru), Grand Kru County (Barclayville), Lofa County (Voinjama), Margibi County (Kakata), Maryland County (Harper), Montserrado County (Bensonville), Nimba County (Sanniquellie), River Cess County (Cestos City), River Gee County (Fish Town), and Sinoe County (Greenville).

Holidays in Liberia
These holidays are days set aside by law, or custom, which close business, usually in honor of a person or an event. Good Friday and Easter Monday are moveable religious holidays. Ramadan is not a public holiday in Liberia, but it is an important Islamic religious time during the ninth month of the Muslim year. During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink between sunrise and sundown.

Jan. 1 New Year’s Day
Feb. 15 Armed Forces Day
Mar. 11 National Decoration Day
Mar. 15 J.J. Roberts’ Birthday
Apr. 10 National Fast and Prayer Day
Apr. 12 National Redemption Day
May 14 National Unification Day
May 25 Africa Day
Jul. 26 Independence Day
Aug. 24 Flag Day
Nov. First Thurs Thanksgiving Day
Nov. 29 Tubman’s Birthday
Dec. 25 Christmas Day