OFFICIAL AMERICAN SAMOA FLAG DAY CEREMONY TO PROCEED

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 15, 1998 - Samoa News)---The 1998 Flag Day raising ceremonies on Thursday will proceed as planned despite plans for a second flag raising ceremony to be held at Fagatogo's "Malae ole Talu" on Friday, Governor Tauese Sunia said yesterday.

The second flag raising ceremony was organized after Senate President Lutu Tenari Fuimaono last week made public his "personal protest" that he will not be attending the Flag Day flag raising ceremonies at Veteran's Sports Stadium on Thursday.

Lutu said the flag raising should not be moved from Maoputasi, where the U.S. flag was first hoisted during April, 1900. As a result of the official venue change, the Senate President and Fagatogo Chief told the Samoa News, he was organizing a second flag day raising ceremony.

Originally, Lutu said he had planned to watch the Flag Day ceremonies Thursday on television ,during the live coverage by KVZK-TV. But due to an outpouring of public support, Lutu said a flag day raising ceremony at Fagatogo now is planned for Friday.

A notice was circulated to the local media yesterday urging all supporters to attend the Friday event. The notice was signed by the Planning Committee for the Fagatogo Flag Raising Ceremonies.

Governor Tauese told Samoa News yesterday that he was not informed of the Senate President's sentiments until they were published by the Samoa News last week.

All of the ceremonial functions of the government, including Flag Day festivities, Tauese said, are the responsibility of the Office of Samoan Affairs.

The program for this year's Flag Day was drafted by Samoan Affairs with the advice and consent of the three District Governors, the Governor added.

"If I had known earlier, we would have made a compromise. But the programs were published and invitations had already been sent out," noted the Chief Executive. "I was never given the courtesy to address the Senate President's concerns until the 11th hour."

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to samoanews@samoatelco.com

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