Lukashenka inaugurates State Flag Square in Minsk
The Independence Palace and State Flag Square in front of it will become the center of the sovereign Belarusian state, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said...
The Independence Palace and State Flag Square in front of it will become the center of the sovereign Belarusian state, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said while inaugurating the square in Minsk on July 2.
The Belarusian leader said that the site would become a symbol of Belarus` independence. "It will show the entire world that Belarus has become a state that looks to the future with confidence," he said.
The site will be the Belarusians` pride and "calling card," he said.
"Each of us, irrespective of his nationality, proudly calls himself a citizen of Belarus," Mr. Lukashenka said, describing the Belarusian people as a "great spiritual brotherhood" uniting all those who call "our generous, beautiful and kind land" their home.
"Respecting and venerating our state symbols is the foremost duty and a sacred obligation of all members of this big family," he said.
Mr. Lukashenka warned that every Belarusian should understand the "deep historical and political meaning" of Belarus` state flag and emblem, as well as be able to sing along to the national anthem and know the constitution. The symbols should be respected in every Belarusian home and be a source of patriotism, he added.
The inauguration was attended by top government officials, prominent art figures, athletes, war veterans, foreign diplomats and hundreds of spectators. Laotian President Choummaly Sayasone, who arrived in Belarus on a state visit the day before, was also in attendance.
The square is a circle with a radius of 50 meters where seven granite steles bearing the emblems of the six regions and the city of Minsk stand. It lies between Victors Avenue and a renovated BelExpo exhibition center. On both sides of the 24-meter-wide ladder leading from the square to the center are steles bearing the text of the state anthem and Belarus` geographic map.
The centerpiece of the square is a 70-meter-high staff displaying a 14-meter-wide and seven-meter-tall national flag. Before it was hoisted in the culmination of the ceremony, a group of outstanding Belarusians, including biathlete Darya Domrachava, opera singer Aksana Volkava and BelAZ dump truck designer Pavel Maryyew, placed their hands on the flag and an "oath of loyalty to the state flag" was read out.
The Independence Palace, which is officially described as Mr. Lukashenka`s residence, is still under construction. //