Under Museveni the Ugandan economy has grown and conditions for much of the population have improved. However, the country remains poor and has been plagued by groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group famed for forcing children in to armed soldiers as well as kidnapping girls as sexual slaves. It is believed that the LRA took advantage of chaos in neighboring South Sudan and DR Congo to stage a move to far eastern areas in the Central African Republic, itself a failed state with no organized ability to respond to the presence of the LRA in their territory.
So, Uganda has continued to face challenges during recent times and most recently became involved in the so-called Second Congo War. Uganda, along with Rwanda and Burundi, served as bases and sources of support for rebels opposed to Laurent Kabila’s rule in the DRC. The war has severely disrupted commerce and daily life in the eastern regions of the DRC and this instability has spilled over into Ugandan territory on occasion.
Uganda hopes to build an eco-tourism industry, built in large part on access to some of the last remaining wild mountain gorillas which live in the extreme southwest of the country, along the highly unstable border with the DRC and Rwanda.
All that being well and good information, why were we flying the flag of Uganda? The answer lies in one of Tim’s favorite Broadway productions.
Book of Mormon, written by the team behind the television show “South Park,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone, proved to be one of the most phenomenally successful shows in Broadway history. We have seen the show twice: in NYC on Broadway and a traveling show in Louisville, Kentucky. The show proved to also be one our all-time favorite shows as well.
In one of the earlier musical numbers in the play, the soon to be missionaries speculate about their destinations and talk about where they hope they will go. Shortly after, the assignments are read out. Some of the missionaries are to head to Norway (“the land of gnomes and trolls), France (land of pastries and turtlenecks), and Japan (land of soy sauce and Mothra). Finally, our heroes receive their assignment to a small village in northern Uganda, a mission location about which they are less than enthusiastic.
The national anthem of Uganda is a highly appropriate accompaniment for any Ugandan flag raising.
P.S. Before I took it down, and thus preventing and international incident, Tim had decided to fly the Norwegian flag above the Ugandan flag, which in the language of flags would indicate that Uganda is subordinate to Norway. While one can debate the relative merits of Norway versus Uganda, they remain equally sovereign nations accorded equal representation in the world of flags.